Tony Williams, 51, who set the standard for modern jazz...


February 27, 1997

Tony Williams, 51, who set the standard for modern jazz drumming as a teen-age prodigy with the Miles Davis Quintet and became a seminal figure in jazz-rock fusion, died of a heart attack Sunday in Daly City, Calif.

Born in Chicago and raised in Boston, he began playing drums with his father when he was 8, learning his craft from masters such as Art Blakey and Max Roach. Davis invited the 17-year-old to join his band in 1963.

Mr. Williams played with Davis, Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter and Wayne Shorter until 1968, collaborating on 13 albums. But Williams grew restless with Davis' band and formed what many consider to be the first jazz-rock fusion group, Lifetime, with guitarist John McLaughlin and organist Larry Young. The group released the highly innovative record, "Once in a Lifetime" (Verve), but Mr. Williams, disillusioned by criticism of his retreat from pure jazz, stopped performing in 1972.

He returned four years later to back Mr. Hancock's band, V.S.O.P.

He won a Grammy in 1995 for "The Tribute to Miles Davis," a reunion recording with Mr. Hancock, Mr. Carter and Mr. Shorter.

Nuccio Bertone, 82, the dean of Italian car designers who created models for Ferrari, Alfa Romeo, Lamborghini and Fiat, died yesterday.

His company, Gruppo Bertone, said he died at home in Turin, Italy, but did not give a cause of death.

He took over his father's business in 1934 in Turin -- Italy's automobile capital -- and turned it into a major design company that today employs 1,500 people. His best-known models included the Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint, the Ferrari Dino 308 GT4 and the Lancia Stratos.

He is survived by two daughters, both of whom work for Gruppo Bertone.

Richard B. Gilbert, 93, a disc jockey whose varied career in broadcasting included pioneering several Arizona radio stations, died Sunday in Phoenix. He was called the original disc jockey, a term coined by Variety editor Abel Green to describe his work on New York City's WHN in 1942.

As a disc jockey, Mr. Gilbert is credited with being the first to broadcast from a nightclub and the first to obtain personalized station breaks from stars.

Raymond Lambert, 83, whose climbs up Mount Everest in 1952 led the way for Edmund Hillary to reach the summit of the world's highest mountain a year later, died after heart and lung failure Monday in Geneva. He was part of two major Swiss expeditions to the Himalayas in the spring and autumn of 1952.

On the historic spring trip, he and Tenzing Norgay climbed 28,200 feet up Everest, coming within 300 yards of the summit. The area later was nicknamed "the Swiss ridge." Everest's 29,028-foot summit was reached May 29, 1953, by Hillary of New Zealand and Tenzing.

Andrei Sinyavsky, 71, the Russian novelist whose 1966 trial for writing "anti-Soviet works" is widely considered the start of dissidence against Communist rule, died of cancer Tuesday in a Paris suburb.

He was arrested in the former Soviet Union in 1965 and tried for writing "anti-Soviet" works after the Kremlin discovered that he had published satirical novels in France under a pseudonym, Abram Terts.

Pub Date: 2/27/97

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