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Billy Cobham - Total Eclipse CD (album) cover


Billy Cobham


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.71 | 52 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
4 stars Third Billy Cobham solo album after the generally over-appreciated Spectrum and the generally under-rated Crosswinds, Total Eclipse is an excellent follow-up, well worthy of its two predecessors. Again released on the Atlantic label, produced by the excellent Ken Scott (who'd just broke Supertramp in the major leagues the previous year) and accompanied with a striking drawn artwork, TE features the same usual suspects you'd expect on his early solo albums, minus George Duke.

The album opens on a four-part 12-mins suite called Solarization, a wild and full-blown prog JR/F piece that clearly has its roots in the Mahavishnu mould (especially the opening movement) and has plenty of mood and climate changes to please Yes fans. The Mahavishnu- ian title track is another highlight in an album that holds no weak spots, despite its slightly weaker exit (on the flipside), while the ultra-funky Bandits provide a welcome break before flipping the wax over.

The flipside is also quite fine, opening on the very brassy Moon Germs (hey, the Brecker Brothers won't let you under-use their presence), but Abercrombie's fiery guitar quickly steals the show. The much-quieter Green Cheese presents itself a new-agey intro to the lengthy, lunar and excellent Sea Of Tranquility, with a good horn section and more reflective Rhodes sections separating more frenetic sections. Of course coming from a drummer, you can't escape the usual (almost mandatory, dare I say) drum solo, which indeed fills the closing Last Frontier.

Just as essential as its two predecessors, Total Eclipse is anything but that on this brilliant JR/F music, I always preferred Cobham's solo albums to say William's or Clarke's solo albums, but with Spectrum to Eclpse, Billy ranks with the top of the genre in terms od solo career.

Sean Trane | 4/5 |


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