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Billy Cobham - Crosswinds CD (album) cover

CROSSWINDS

Billy Cobham

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.70 | 45 ratings

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clarke2001
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars

Expectations are set high...very high. After the "Spectrum", your life won't be the same. Especially considering the fact we are talking about the genius of William Cecil Cobham Junior. But, at the end of the day, it turns that "Spectrum" remains one hit wonder. Because nothing can reach it. And "Crosswinds" is not as half as good. I will try to describe and rate "Crosswinds" as a standalone unit. Although it's really difficult. No, first I must do my comparisons. Well, "Crosswinds" is quite different; first side is focused around Cobham's solo drum parts - and certainly, skill is here, idea is here, and "Storm" is a storm really. Hey ho for the impression! If you are familiar with Carl Palmer's drum solos with lots of noisy, hissy gongs, you will get the idea. Cobham is placing on a new level all that. But I'm missing that flashy outbursts and delicated monstrosity of Mr. Cobham - his trademark, at least in my eyes (ears). I'm missing that anxiety. The drumming is too homogenic - or shall I say hermetic - for my taste...it's like all the components and segments are cross-melted into something gray. Not too gray but...I was expecting more. Actually, it's not only the drumming; that's the issue of the entire album. It's blurry and homogenic - it's just passing through the ears without leaving any significant traces. To be less polite, it's somewhat boring.

To be honest, "Crosswinds" is not bad album. There are some nice and groovy moments here and there; "Pleasant Pheasant" utilises some nice funky grooves and lots of additional percussion (bongos); Abercrombie's guitar is enjoyable too. But save for the two bridges in the song, everything is going again down the slope, and again we have not so frutiful jam of session musicians. Not entirely unfruitful, mind you. However,the album suffers of some points of pointlessness in a similar way like, let's say, RETURN TO FOREVER albums - but RTF were able to caught listeners attention many more times during an average album playing time.

This album is not a missed idea, it's (somewhat) pleasant routine like many other jazz-rock albums.

For the something inspiring, go for the "Spectrum" first, and for the more prog tendencies and diversity, you might try "Magic".

Let's just say it's good enough to stay in one's collection, but it is definitely not essential.

clarke2001 | 3/5 |

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