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Crate Digger’s Gold: Billy Cobham – Shabazz

June 18, 2012

Billy Cobham has the distinction of being a member of a seminal jazz rock fusion band (Mahavishnu Orchestra) and the leader on one of the greatest jazz rock fusion albums of all time (Spectrum).  I found this gem at the record sale in Maple Grove.

It is albums like this that keep me crate digging.  I was not familiar with the album, but knew this was the prime of Cobham’s career, it had great side men and a couple of Spectrum songs I knew.  The fact that it was in great shape and  two buck is what made it an easy gamble.  This is a great discovery and will be in steady rotation in the weeks ahead.

This is a live recording from 1974 (Rainbow Theatre – London and Montreux Music Festival) with an outstanding band (Brecker Brothers, John Abercrombie, etc.).  This was the touring band for another outstanding Cobham recording – Total Eclipse. It has two previously unrecorded songs and two songs from the classic Spectrum album mentioned above.  This is a freewheeling blowing session.

One of the coolest things about Billy Cobham is that he not only the premier drummer of the jazz rock fusion genre, but he is also an amazing composer – all 4 songs on the album are credited to Billy.  This has more funky feel than Billy’s work with the Mahavishnu Orchestra.  It is more in line with his work with Mile Davis (Jack Johnson).  Randy Brecker does his take on Miles Davis’ muted and processed horn without sounding like an imitator, but innovator.

One Comment
  1. See what I mean. CB is jealous.

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