Album Review: Safari Williams (Self Titled)
Safari Williams, preferred pronouns they and them, is lost on a deserted jungle island, or are they? A once famed safari tour guide, Williams has lost the members of their latest guided tour. Safari Williams is now wandering in a haze, torn between their once illustrious past and their current predicament. This psychodrama is guided by three mysterious magi, brandishing what people would call instruments in the outside world.
The guiding band of magical magi is comprised of Clark Hamilton (guitar, vox, keys),
Anthony Doud (drums, saxophone, vocals, keys), and Daniel Hyman (bass, vocals). Together they build a world that is terrifying, beautiful, and altogether engrossing. As Safari struggles to get a grip on what is going on, and the lost tour group tries to find their guide, the soundtrack guides you through the steamy jungle as you meet dogs, swim with dolphins, and try to outrun lions and tigers. Their virtuosic playing is both impressive and fun. If the three young musicians are showing off it is only for your entertainment. They aren’t looking down on you from some far off jazz pedestal but rather running alongside you in search of their mysterious Safari Williams.
The trio blends elements of funk and jazz with a heavy dose of experimental sounds and chants. There is little to any singing but when there is, the voices blend together more as an additional instrument than poetry put to melody. Recorded at The Glow studio in Athens, Jesse Mangum has done a terrific job of capturing the group's manic excitement that is felt in their live performance.