Verve's Ultimate Tony Williams
may not live up to its billing but the budget-priced collection is nevertheless a terrific introductory sampler. Jack DeJohnette
selected the 11 tracks on the compilation and also wrote the liner notes. He did an excellent job of balancing acknowledged classics with choices that illustrate the range of Williams
' late '60s/early '70s recordings for Polygram. Some listeners will undoubtedly find a favorite or two missing, but these 16 tracks -- including "Some Hip Drum Shit," "Emergency," "Mom and Dad," "Vashkar," "The Urchins of Shermese," "Clap City," "Allah Be Praised" and "Via the Spectrum Road" -- capture the essence of Williams
' Verve recordings, which is enough to make this a worthwhile sampler.