Although he had recorded the year before using trumpeter Wallace Roney and pianist Mulgrew Miller on Foreign Intrigue, Civilization was the debut record by drummer Tony Williams' hard bop quintet, a group also including Billy Pierce on tenor and soprano, and bassist Charnett Moffett (who would later be succeeded by Ira Coleman). The leader's loud and forceful drumming forced the other soloists to use their maximum power, and his eight originals gave his sidemen challenging compositions to play. With Roney emulating Miles Davis as usual, Williams must have been pleased to have his former boss' sound at his disposal. Although none of the songs caught on as standards, this is an excellent effort.
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AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow