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Billy Cobham - Shabazz CD (album) cover


Billy Cobham


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.96 | 31 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars "Spectrum" and this live album "Shabazz" are my two favourite Billy Cobham albums. It's not even close actually with the rest of his discography as they fall far behind these two gems.These two albums compliment each other well as they sound quite different from one another with two very different lineups.This album has John Abercrombie on guitar and we get the Brecker brothers on sax and trumpet. Add trombone and yes there's a lot of brass. Cobham is the star here though and the album begins and ends with his talent on full display.This was recorded live in the summer of 1974 in two different venues in Europe.

"Shabazz" opens with drums only before the horns join in before 2 minutes. Guitar and electric piano after 3 minutes. It settles a minute later then kicks back in. Just a collage of sounds here. It settles again after 9 minutes, then the tempo picks up before 11 1/2 minutes. A change a minute later as it turns jazzy with horns. "Taurian Matador (Revised)" hits the ground running with horns and drums leading. A calm 2 1/2 minutes in. It starts building a minute later as the crowd cheers. Keyboards and drums shine.

"Red Baron (Revised)" is where they slow things down. Horns before a minute and it's kind of funky. It's fuller before 5 minutes then the horns return a minute later. "Tenth Pinn" opens with drums only then we get a full sound before 1 1/2 minutes. A calm follows with horn expressions. It's builing slowly then kicks in around 4 minutes.The tempo continues to shift back and forth. Drums only before 9 minutes as Billy puts on a show until just before it ends when the band kicks back in.

Without a doubt an album that Jazz / Fusion fans should check out.

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |


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