Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Billy Cobham - Shabazz CD (album) cover


Billy Cobham

Jazz Rock/Fusion

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Bookmark and Share
4 stars Billy's power jazz is desiged to rock your socks off; it leaves you exhausted and barefoot. Shabazz begins with a drum solo, but once the band kicks in the ride is quickly underway. And what a band it is! Randy and Michael Brecker bring their unique mini horn section to join the fun. Their BS&T derived sound is somewhat of a reprise of their previous joint effort with Billy, Dreams, one of the earliest horn rock bands and a very progressive one in its own right.

Glenn Ferris fills out the sound nicely on trombone giving the illusion at times of a full-blown horn section. John Abercrombie grinds, drones, chops, and squeaks his way through the material, and it is very interesting to compare his playing on the two Spectrum tracks Red Baron and Taurian Matador with Tommy Bolin's stunning and incendiary precedent from the previous year's release. Keyboard wiz Michio Leviev treats the material as though he wrote it, and Alex Blake more than keeps up on bass. The last Track Tenth Pinn is as experimental as this type of playing gets, but make no mistake, its no jam session

Shabazz is as unrelenting as anything you have ever heard from Mister Cobham. Not many live albums get multiple spins around here. This one sure does!

Report this review (#125616)
Posted Tuesday, June 12, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars Hot damn, what a performance! Billy Cobham's drumming is at its absolute peak on this album-better than he was with Miles and, dare I say it, even better than his work with the Mahavishnu Orchestra. Billy rips into his drums with speed and precision comparable only to Buddy Rich-if that sounds like a gross exaggeration, listen to the first few minutes of the title track. And the great thing is, it doesn't let up: Not once during this 40 minute recording does Cobham's drumming become anything less than relentless. The other musicians preform admirably as well, even if the keyboard playing does sound a little dated and silly in places, but you're here for Billy's drumming, and you won't be disappointed.

The level of energy in this album is completely ridiculous. If I'd heard stuff like this when I was younger, I'd probably have gotten over my prejudices against jazz much sooner than I did. Check this album out if you want to hear a master playing at his dizzying peak. And hey, it's only 3 bucks on Itunes! What are you waiting for?!

Report this review (#299080)
Posted Monday, September 13, 2010 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
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.

Report this review (#320645)
Posted Monday, November 15, 2010 | Review Permalink

BILLY COBHAM Shabazz ratings only

chronological order | showing rating only

Post a review of BILLY COBHAM Shabazz

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives