[ ORIGINAL NOISE ]
— photograph by dave hogerty (original>>noise)
— In New Orleans, Louisiana, outside a record store across the street from Tipitina's, the legendary music venue in the city's "French Quarter."
Quick Out of the Gate
RECOGNITION CAME FAST for Will, a young drummer from The Bronx, New York. Soon after earning a Bachelors degree in Music Production and Engineering at Boston's Berklee School of Music, he received the prestigious BUDDY RICH JAZZ MASTERS AWARD for outstanding performance by a drummer.
also noteable early on were:
— Modern Drummer Magazine Readers' Poll: BEST NEW DRUMMER
— Modern Drummer Magazine Readers' Poll: NUMBER ONE PROGRESSIVE DRUMMER
— Rolling Stone Magazine Critics' Poll: BEST DRUMMER
Will's unique blend of improvisational and hard rock drumming can be found on each of Living Colour's five studio albums: the ground breaking multi-platinum debut, Vivid, the critically acclaimed sophomore LP, Time's Up, Stain, CollideØscope, and 2009's return The Chair in the Doorway.
Also released in Living Colour's on-again-off-again, 25-year career, were two outstanding EPs, Biscuits and (No) Dread, in addition to post Stain breakup Pride, and a number of live recordings.
Living Colour has won an International "Best Rock Band" Award, and received two Grammy Awards for Best Hard Rock Performance by a Group.
— video by dave hogerty (original>>noise)
Will taking a WaveDrum solo at a Head>>Fake performance with Doug Wimbish and Bernie Worrell at WIMBASH WEST 2008 at the NAMM convention in Anaheim, California.
ode to Elvin
— video Motema Music
Will's 2017 release is a tribute to Elvin Jones, a most serious influence in Will's musical life.
The Next Millennium
After the Rolling Stones' Mick Jagger helped Living Colour get its debut Vivid released, he invited the young band to open a number of shows on the Stones' 1988 Steel Wheels Tour, and Living Colour found almost immediate fame.
Few drummers' careers start out as fast as Will's, but even he had room to grow, and when DOUG WIMBISH replaced Living Colour bassist Muzz Skillings in 1992, Will was about to make a most enduring and creative musical bond. Even with the hot and cold runnings of Living Colour throughout the past 25 years, Will and Doug's connection has been unbreakable.
In addition to their securing their place as one of Rock 'N' Roll's finest rhythm sections, Will and Doug have worked togther on
countless projects, including the still-active JUNGLE>>FUNK with vocalist VINX, and as a bass/drum wall-of-sound duo called THE HEAD>>FAKE SOUND
SYSTEM. In their more than 20-year collaboration, they have become one of the most sought after-rhythm sections by popular artists in all musical genres.
In 1996, they wrote, played, and produced on HERB ALPERT’s Grammy-nominated COLORS album.
In 2000, as part of MOS DEF’s Black Jack Johnson band, Will and Doug were together again with keyboardist BERNIE WORRELL and Bad Brains guitarist DR. KNOW for Mos’ albums BLACK ON BOTH SIDES and THE NEW DANGER.
And today, while finishing a new "Blues Metal" Living Colour album, and touring with Tara Turunen, Lauryn Hill, and a number of their own musical collections, both Will and Doug will play ART DECO WEEKEND 2013/WIMBASH>>MIAMI BEACH, doing both a HEAD>>FAKE set with guest violinist CHRISTIAN HOWES seguing into a JUNGLE>>FUNK set with VINX.
LIVING COLOUR's PRIDE was released in 1995, after the band's first dissolution in 1993. Just before Living Colour's reunion in 2000, Will and his rhythm section partner Doug Wimbish released two of their most notable recordings, HERB ALPERT's COLORS for which the legendary trumpeter recruited Head>>Fake to help him write, play, and produce "new" jazz sound ... and the self-titled JUNGLE>>FUNK was a live recording with vocalist VINX that also explored a similar Ambient/Fusion sound.
HIGH PROFILE ARTISTS WILL HAS WORKED WITH INCLUDE: B.B. King, Mick Jagger, Jaco Pastorius, Harry Belafonte, Pharoah Sanders, Jack DeJohnette, Paul Simon, Lou Reed, The Allman Brothers, Lauryn Hill, Marcus Miller, Dr. John, Carly Simon, Ron Woods, Wayne Shorter (on the Grammy-winnning album HIGH LIFE), RUN DMC, and Public Enemy.
Of course most of Will's growth as a solo artist came in the years between Living Colour's dissolution in 1993 and the band's reformation in 2001.
Having written, produced, and played on LIVING COLOUR's STAIN, Doug Wimbish had already creatively connected with Will as a
rhythm section partner, so it made sense for them to continue to collaborate outside of Living Colour. This was the most productive time of Will and Doug's musical partnership ... the time they
created JUNGLE>>FUNK and HEAD>>FAKE.
It was also the time when Will found his voice as a solo artist and band leader. Soon after working (writing, playing, production) with Doug on Herb Alpert's Grammy-nominated COLORS in 1996, and again on a (live), self-titled JUNGLE>>FUNK album in 1999, Will released his critically acclaimed, straight-ahead jazz album, THE WILL CALHOUN QUINTET: LIVE AT THE BLUE NOTE, featuring Bobby Watson (saxophone), Terrell Stafford (trumpet), John Benitez (bass), and Orrin Evans (piano), and DrumWave, an (all-drum) record, featuring his virtuosity on the WaveDrum, an unusual computerized electronic instrument invented in the 1980s.
Ironically, almost immediately after Will officially introduced himself as a band leader and solo artist, there was a surprising Living Colour Reunion at CBGB's in New York City. Head>>Fake (Doug and Will) had invited Corey Glover (Living Colour vocalist) to play the show with them just before Christmas (2000). Then, halfway through the set, audience member Vernon Reid (Living Colour guitarist) was coaxed onstage to (appropriately) play the TALKING HEADS' "MEMORIES CAN'T WAIT." So positive was the crowd's response, that after the show, the band discussed getting back together for a SUMMER 2001 TOUR.
— video (YouTube)
AN UNEXPECTED GET TOGETHER — An audience recording of the momentous LIVING COLOUR REUNION that evolved during a HEAD>>FAKE show at CBGB's in NYC. (December 2000).
Despite the attack on the Twin Towers interrupting the 2001 REUNION TOUR, and threatening LIVING COLOUR's future, the band
made up the cancelled shows later that year, the last on New Year's Eve, in NYC's Central Park in front of 50,000 hometown fans.
Finishing on such a high note, the reformation was complete, and Living Colour has been together ever since ... touring, recording two albums (CollideOscope, and The Chair in the Doorway), and anchoring the popular EXPERIENCE HENDRIX TOUR with Joe Satriani and Steve Vai.
Devoting so much time to the reformation of LIVING COLOUR, Will (and Doug) might have let HEAD>>FAKE and their solo projects take a back seat, but that was hardly the case. Will had played on Doug's first solo record, 1999's TRIPPY NOTES FOR BASS, and together, they released HEAD>>FAKE: IN THE AREA OF PRAGUE, a live DVD in 2003.
— video by Petr Tomaides (tomato22)
"CYCLES" — opening tune on HEAD>>FAKE: LIVE IN THE AREA OF PRAGUE (DVD)
On his own, Will was travelling the globe (Mali, Morocco, Brazil, Australia, Japan), establishing musical and personal relationships
wherever he went.
In 2005 he released NATIVE LANDS, something of his tour de force. A Fusion of World, Jazz, and Urban music that takes a listener on a global adventure, one moment feeling as if he or she were in the Middleast, sitting in a moon-lit tent, under a clear, cool desert sky, and later in a humid Amazonian jungle, or in a small, dark, smokey club in Manhattan.
Among the Native Lands contributors are: Pharoah Sanders, Mos Def, Buster Williams, Stanley Jordan, Kevin Eubanks, Marcus Miller, and Wallace Roney, as well as Brazilian Nana Vasconcelos, and Cheick Tidiane Seck from Mali.
Native Lands includes a DVD with more than ninety minutes of music videos and documentary material, which serves as an entertaining travelouge chronicling Will’s exciting musical journey of the last ten years.