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Billy Cobham: Life & Times

Album Notes

Personnel: Billy Cobham (Moog synthesizer, percussion); Phil Bodner (flute, bass clarinet); Gene Orloff (violin); Al Brown (viola); Kermit Moore (cello); Alan Zavod (organ); Dawilli Gonga (keyboards); John Scofield (guitar); Richard Davis, Doug Rauch (bass).

Recorded at Electric Lady Studios, New York, New York.

Though a largely unknown supporting cast (with the exception of John Scofield) accompanies Cobham, this post-Mahavishnu Orchestra band conducts itself magnificently. The title track is like a sonic ball of fire hurtling through the troposphere. Cobham whips his drum kit into a frenzy; bassist Doug Rauch sends chills up the spine in the finest Stanley Clarke tradition, Scofield arcs his way to the heavens, and Cobham takes the proceedings further aflight upon crests of foamy Moog synthesizer solos. What an amazing experience it must have been to check out this seven-minute jam live. But things don't stop there. "Earthlings" is a bit of feisty jazz funk for the moving masses. "On a Natural High" allows Scofield to let rip with some gritty guitar solos amid Cobham's percussive attacks. And "East Bay" lets the group chill out on a slo-mo elastic glide down the sidewalk. Go there or be square.


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