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Billy Cobham - Spectrum CD (album) cover


Billy Cobham


Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.28 | 528 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars This is one of the easiest reviews I will ever write. Do you want virtuosic playing? Do you want music that sounds "cool"? Do you want music that will challenge you, yet still not make you feel like nerd with non-prog friends? Do you want a variety of instrumentation, styles and tempos on an album? If your answer to any of these is yes, then you simply need this album.

Quadran 4. An absolutely blistering opener, Bolin and Hammer engage in some fierce duels, while Cobham simmers on drums. Sure, it's a relatively simple jam, but it's also light-years more in-your-face and intense than your average rocker.

Searching for the Right Door. A great change of pace from the opener, this track is a light, intricate, fllute-oriented number in 7/4 that features excellent drumming (of course!) and ultra-cool keys and synths from Hammer. If I was a high-roller in Vegas, this would be my theme music.

Anxiety/Taurian Matador. Here the boys tone down the rock a bit from the opener and throw in some funk, but the blistering interplay between Bolin and Hammer remains. And of course, Cobham keeps right on cooking, with killer fills and nice change-ups throughout to always keep things interesting.

Stratus. This highlight of the album for me, this is one hard-working song, and Cobham and crew have cranked the funk to the max, and the results are simply awesome. A great spacey intro, including one of my favorite drum solos of all time, lead into the funky groove that takes up most of the track. Bolin gives us a guitar jam with a nasty attitude--too bad he only had so little time on this earth, though the song is captivating throughout.

To the Women in My Life/Le Lis. After the funk-filled Stratus, a classy grand piano intro, followed by a subdued yet lively trumpet groove is just what the doctor ordered.

Snoopy's Search/Red Baron. To round out the album, we're treated to a brief freakout and then a cool funk groove. Hammer's tasteful keys really keep this one interesting, though let's not forget Bolin's restrained, Beck-like riffs. Anyone listening to this will strut a bit more and feel a bit cooler.

As you can imagine, I love this album--tons of great tunes, incredible playing, and excellent variety. This is an essential addition to any fusion or progressive rock collection.

Flucktrot | 4/5 |


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