From 1997's Fresh Outta 'P' University onward, each successive Bootsy Collins offering has seen the funk legend playing an ever more peripheral role to a rotating case of guest stars. Opening with a hilarious spoken word intro from Iggy Pop, World Wide Funk doesn't skimp on a supporting cast of funkateers, but this time "Bootzilla" is front and centre in the mix ¾ and after 50 years, he's still one of the greatest bassists to walk the earth.
You can feel that low end on "Bass-Rigged-System," an impressive, multi-generational team-up with Stanley Clarke and Victor Wooten and the house quake of "Come Back Bootsy," which features Eric Gales, Dennis Chambers and World-Wide-Funkdrive. "Hot Saucer" (with Musiq Soulchild and Big Daddy Kane) and "Snow Bunny" are bottom-heavy romantic confections, while Collins' endearingly idiosyncratic vocal style is especially poignant on the ode to the departed P-Funk keyboard genius Bernie Worrell, "A Salute to Bernie." The album closes with "Illusions," on which Chuck D and Blvck Seeds drop some pertinent science over a monstrous Buckethead/Bootsy groove.
World Wide Funk doesn't break any new ground, but it showcases Bootsy Collins blissfully stretching out. (Mascot)