Album Remarks & Appraisals:
Billy Cobham is acclaimed as fusion's greatest drummer. His explosive technique powered some of the genre's most important early recordings - including groundbreaking recordings by Miles Davis and The Mahavishnu Orchestra - before he became an accomplished bandleader in his own right.
In this third album for GRP (1987), Billy Cobham embraced the era incorporating the new digital sound with his old style of music. The result is a nice mixture of traditional jazz.
Most of drummer Billy Cobham's recording have featured his groups of the period, but this set for GRP matches him with a variety of all-stars. Three songs feature Grover Washington, Jr. (one of the most popular saxophonists of all time) on soprano or tenor; Randy Brecker (four-time Grammy winner) takes a fluelhorn solo on "Taurian Matador." Other guests include Tom Scott (renowned composer, arranger, producer, musical director and saxophonist), keyboardist George Duke (keyboard pioneer, composer, singer and producer in both jazz and pop) and bassist Ron Carter (one of the most recorded bassists in jazz history).
This recording signified the last project that Billy Cobham produced within the USA until now.
Personnel: Billy Cobham (drums, programming); Grover Washington Jr. (soprano & tenor saxophones); Randy Brecker (flugelhorn); Tom Scott (lyricon); Michael Abene (piano, keyboards); George Duke, Gerry Etkins (keyboards); Ron Carter (acoustic bass); Abe Laboriel, Victor Bailey (electric bass); Sa Davis (congas); Wayne Cobham, Lucio Pascarelli, Francesco Boscotti, Serge Mai (programming).
Producers: Billy Cobham, Wayne Cobham, Michael Abene.
Engineers: Maurizio Maggi, Don Murray, Craig Bishop.
Recorded by Umbi Studios, Castelnuovo, Italy; Le Gonks West, Hollywood, California; Soundtracks, New York, New York.
All tracks have been digitally remastered.
Personnel: Billy Cobham (programming); Serge Mai, Wayne Cobham, Francesco Bosotti, Lucio Pascarelli (programming).
Liner Note Author: Billy Cobham.
Recording information: Le gonks West, Hollywood, CA (1987); Soundtracks, New York, NY (1987); Umbi Studios, Casteinuovo, Italy (1987).
Cobham's third time at bat for GRP sees him adopting more of the label's smooth-surface anonymity, but his own good taste and deft twist of a musical phrase keep the proceedings from arching over into the banal. Some the tracks on view here tow a quieter, more benign line. The warm-spring sonic cocktail that is "You Within Me Within You" and the breezy summer balm of "Coming Attractions" don't strike you a mighty fusion blow but, rather, invite the soul out onto the veranda for a becalming repose in a dreamy Mediterranean afternoon.
On the all-synthed-up keyboard calliope of "Taurian Matador," Cobham's jazz-rock chops re-ignite these glittering surfaces. His drums nimbly hightail it across the sprightly plains of "Two for Juan." Awareness is bliss, however. PICTURE THIS is not one of Cobham's more electrifying efforts, but it is a charming slice of mid-'80s digi-jazz with some genuinely beguiling moments.
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