Buster Williams
Kozmigroov Albums
Pinnacle [Muse, 1975]
Crystal Reflections [Muse, 1976]
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Buster's Pinnacle didn't retain the Mwandishi style to the same effect as say, the first couple from Eddie Henderson but it's still a killer lp. The album kicks it with "The Hump", a blindingly great and infectious cosmic funker that moves your ass for a solid 11 minutes... and more thereafter if you're so inclined. "Noble Ego" is driven by the double bass, vibrant and spiritual with wordless vocals and spacious ensemble playing. The album continues on the loose and soulful, with some magnificent solo jabs by Sonny Fortune, Earl Turbington and Woody Shaw. Buster's fluid bassistry is highlighted on "Batuki", which stretches for most of the second half and is sweetly coloured by Onaje Gumbs' drifting Rhodes and Guilherme Franco's subtle percussion. I gave this wax an A-list rating but yeah, the first half carries most of the weight. Crystal Reflections, recorded the following year with Roy Ayers, Kenny Barron and others, is in contrast a shockingly lite record. "Prism" gradually grows some intrigue but overall, the record's remarkably dilute in comparison with Pinnacle. Most valued for the samples knicked from their extended working of Ayers' "Vibrations". [DW]