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Billy Cobham: Rudiments: The Billy Cobham Anthology

C. Michael Bailey By

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Loud and Proud.

Rudiments: the Billy Cobham Anthology is a representative collection of songs associated with drummer-composer-bandleader-producer Billy Cobham assembled from the highlights of eight Atlantic releases between 1973 and 1978. This was a particularly fruitful time for Cobham that saw the percussionist recording with the likes of the late Tommy Bolin, Jan Hammer, George Duke, Michael and Randy Brecker, John Scofield, Cornell Dupree, and John Abercrombie. The songs are taken from:

  • Spectrum (Atlantic 7268, 1973)
  • Crosswinds (Atlantic 7300, 1974)
  • Total Eclipse (Atlantic 18121, 1974)
  • Shabazz (Atlantic 18139, 1975)
  • A Funky Thide of Sings (Atlantic 18149, 1975)
  • Life and Times (Atlantic 18166, 1976)
  • Live on Tour in Europe (Atlantic 18194, 1976) (The Billy Cobham/George Duke Band)
  • Inner Conflicts (Atlantic 19174, 1978)

Billy Cobham could be considered the Nolan Ryan of Fusion drummers during the 1970s. He had a right-on aggressive style that was as relentless as it was innovative. This music is loud, funky, loose, and freely expressed. It also has aged remarkably well. The hard driving "The Funky Thide of Sings" sounds like a remarkably contemporary Sly and the Family Stone groove. Cobham's idea of the blues is perfectly captured by his rambling duet with Tommy Bolin on "Quadrant 4" from the Spectrum release. Cobham's association with George Duke was amply fruitful and presented here from the Live on Tour in Europe disc. Cobham was as polished and powerful live as in the studio,

Incendiary and incandescent, all of the music on Rudiments: the Billy Cobham Anthology could be included in a clinic on Fusion. I consider the bulk of Cobham's output superior to that of Return to Forever or Weather Report. Rudiments: the Billy Cobham Anthology is a must have release and perfect for all listeners wanting to replace that worn out LP copy of Spectrum.


Track Listing:

Disc 1:Quadrant 4; Stratus; Anxiety; Taurian Matador;Snoopy's Search; Red Baron; All 4 One (outtake);The Pleasant Pheasant; Spanish Moss; Flash Flood; Solarization; Lunarputians; Moon Germs; Total Eclipse. (Total Time: 60:21).

Disc 2:Shabazz; Some Skunk Funk; A Funky Thide Of Sings; Panhandler; Neu Rock N' Roll (outtake); Life & Times; 29; Earthlings; Hip Pockets - The Billy Cobham/George Duke Band; Juicy - The Billy Cobham/George Duke Band; Do What Cha Wanna - The Billy Cobham/George Duke Band; Arroyo. (Total Time: 67:23).

Personnel: Billy Cobham and a cast of thousands.

Title: Rudiments: The Billy Cobham Anthology | Year Released: 2001 | Record Label: Rhino Records

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