Istanbul, Turkey – The Istanbul Mehmet Company, the original Turkish cymbal makers, have announced the introduction of a much anticipated set of cymbals created in tribute to legendary drummer Tony Williams. Created as faithful replicas of the now iconic cymbals made famous by Tony Williams on the recordings of the 60s era Miles Davis Quintet, these exclusive new cymbals will be made available initially as limited edition numbered sets.
When Miles Davis invited the 17 year old Tony Williams to join his new Quintet, the music world would be forever changed … and the art of drumming would never be the same. Not only did Tony set a new standard in drumming with this revolutionary group but the very sound of his instrument, in particular, that of his cymbals, would set a benchmark to which, still to this day, all others would aspire.
Now, The Istanbul Mehmet Company has been granted exclusive access to the very same cymbals, made in Istanbul in the late 50’s, which were used by Tony Williams on the Miles Davis Quintet’s historic recordings. As if they needed even more extraordinary lineage, this exquisite set of cymbals was given to Tony by his friend and mentor, the great Max Roach. Every detail of the original and now legendary cymbals, has been meticulously measured, weighed, gauged and recorded. To ensure precision, Colleen Williams, Tony’s wife, hand carried these precious cymbals ‘home’ to Istanbul to allow the Istanbul Mehmet master artisans first hand access to the original cymbals for this incredible and fascinating recreation process.
Enormous attention to detail was paid during their creation, with every minute aspect of the cymbals’ design; profile, taper, size, weight, etc. being scrupulously measured and factored to ensure that the new, hand made cymbals be as close in sound as possible to the originals. Istanbul Mehmet drew from their rich archives the original and now ‘antique’ cup dies, the actual dies used to form the bells on the originals, and used them in order to perfectly recreate the bell shapes on the tribute models. Hand-made in Turkey using the same techniques passed down from generation to generation of cymbal artisans, the Istanbul Mehmet Company has faithfully recreated what is arguably the most famous and most desired cymbal sound of all time.
‘‘I am deeply happy to be working with the great and honorable Mr. Mehmet, whose personal legacy of mastery placed him at the creation of the original masterpiece cymbals and to be able to give to the world, once again, the true essence of these iconic cymbal sounds, sounds so loved and desired by so many for so long’’, said Colleen Williams. ‘’To have had the opportunity to go to Istanbul, the birthplace of the originals, to meet the Istanbul craftsmen, to hear the hammer blows, to witness their imagination, powerful labor and commitment to excellence on this project has been a revelation. It was a profound experience to attend this ‘rebirth’ of something Tony loved and treasured and an experience that I shall never forget. One doesn’t hear the word: ‘mastery’ so often these days. It has been an extraordinary joy for me to step into its beautiful presence again.’’
Available now, the Tony Williams Tribute Cymbal Limited Edition sets features 22’’ Ride, 18’’ Crash and 14’’ HiHats together with a deluxe leather cymbal bag, a selection of rare Tony Williams photographs and a certificate of authenticity.
Left to Right:
Colin Schofield (Project Consultant), Colleen Williams (Tony Williams’ wife), Mehmet Tamdeger (President of Istanbul Mehmet Cymbals), Bulent Akbay (Product Manager, Istanbul Mehmet Cymbals)