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Billy Cobham - The Billy Cobham - George Duke Band:


Billy Cobham


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.44 | 31 ratings

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4 stars When I first heard of this "supergroup", which consists of drummer Billy Cobham, keyboardist George Duke, guitarist John Scofield, and bassist/Stick player Alphonso Johnson, my expectations were high. While not exactly a grand-slam of an album, I was hooked from the first listen.

This album contains, on most tracks, a blend of funk, rock, R&B, and jazz. This is demonstrated best on the instrumental tracks "Hip Pockets", "Ivory Tattoo", "Sweet Wine", and "Juicy". These four songs are what really make the album special to me, the band just gels so well together that it amazes me how short-lived this group was. These instrumentals show the group in full democratic mode when it comes to soloing and overall representation on each track.

George Duke demonstrates his possibly Zappa-inherited humour on "Space Lady", a solo piece as he tells an extra-terrestrial tale with use of his keyboard to vocalize the alien in his story. "Almustafa The Beloved", penned by Alphonso Johnson, allows Johnson to share lead vocals with Duke and demonstrate Emmett Chapman's unique musical instrument to the crowd, but the song itself ends somewhat abruptly. "Do What Cha Wanna" is the most straight-forward track on the album, pretty much a dressed-up R&B song but a rather catchy song with great lead vocals by Duke and Cobham (possibly Johnson too, I don?t have my liner notes with me) provides superb background vocals. "Frankenstein Goes To The Disco" is a drum/keys duet that goes on a bit too long. This track would probably be more stimulating to witness visually (the band's Montreux performance on DVD would make the perfect companion to this album).

An excellent album to add to your collection, especially if you're a jazz fusion fan.

Stooge | 4/5 |


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