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Kamaal Williams

THE RETURN

BLACK FOCUS

You may know Kamaal Williams for knocking out soulful house under his Henry Wu moniker or for the Gilles Peterson-approved Black Focus album of 2016, a collaboration with Yussef Dayes. Williams’ jazz-fusion debut under his own name features a crack duo of drummer Joshua McKenzie and bassist Pete Martin. Alongside Williams’ own gorgeous Fender Rhodes lead lines, the trio are a perfect balance of song-serving musicianship and scene-stealing soloing. Williams’ echoey Rhodes on opener Salaam sets a laidback groove, backed with minimalist bottom end. Drum ’n’ bass influences are brought to bear on the urgent stopstart rhythms of Broken Theme, and the intriguing, unpredictable beats of Catch The Loop will keep you on the edge of your seat. There’s a pleasing 80s oldskool R&B vibe to Rhythm Commission, which ends far too soon. Overall, it’s a winning formula of classic 70s jazz fusion and more modern textures.

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