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Billy Cobham - A funky Thide of Sings CD (album) cover

A FUNKY THIDE OF SINGS

Billy Cobham

Jazz Rock/Fusion


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3 stars well, this is an excellent funk album...

by the year '75 Mr Cobham had already participated in numerous legendary jazz/fusion albums and his own masterpiece "Spectrum". i wouldn't know the historical facts that lead to this change but it is just what the title says: funk music. interestingly enough, Mr Cobham is not the man here. with the exception of "A Funky Kind Of Thing" which is basically a drum solo, and the ender "Moody Modes" which is a jazz/fusion orgy, the rest of the album is funk music mostly based on instruments like sax, trumpet, trombone and congas. the whole mood is really enjoyable and these fellows sound like they really enjoyed its recording. the question for you is if you like funk and for me is how i would rate such a release in this site. the answer for you is that if you do it's a 4-star rate and for me is a 3-star rate adding that it is really, really good but not essential to the average prog fan.

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Send comments to toolis (BETA) | Report this review (#141111)
Posted Sunday, September 30, 2007 | Review Permalink
The Quiet One
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Billy Cobham's FUNK-BRASS Album

Right from the start, Billy Cobham's jazz fusion take was mainly funk inflected, so it's no surprise that with time he would play even funkier stuff than before. Now Billy is accompanied with a whole set of brass players, among them there's the famous Becker Brothers on board, so the keyboards and guitar that were in his debut an important part of the music, now they're simply another part of the big picture.

The music is rather accessible, but not yet mainstream jazz funk as you would have thought. The brass players support the main melodies and various solos throughout, and the tempo throughout is rather rapid, unlike the more tranquil and jazzier Crosswinds.

The first five tunes are all excellent straight-forward jazz funk tunes with all the aspects I mentioned before. The sixth track however, entitled wrongly 'A Funky Kind of Thing', is a 9 minute drum performance, ultra-boring if you're not fond of complete drum show-off. The last track though, called 'Moody Modes', introducing itself with Milcho Leviev's elegant keyboards, is by all means the best composition in this album, lasting 12 minutes, the trumpet playing is simply gorgeous and how the composition develops, it's incredible, probably one of Cobham's greatest arrangements.

Despite the last grandiose composition, the album overall is simply good brass-led jazz funk that is fun and all, but not the most rewarding of Cobham releases neither of fusion in general, actually, any of Cobham's previous efforts are better than this and so is the following one, Life & Times.

3 stars: solid album, still not repeating ol' formulas, but yet not quite there as some of Billy's other works. Get this after you've listened to the four previous albums, including the live Shabazz. If you're fond of jazz funk though, I highly recommend you this, this still has bite and originality.

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Send comments to The Quiet One (BETA) | Report this review (#298081)
Posted Wednesday, September 08, 2010 | Review Permalink
Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This album is very memorable for me personally as I was so impressed with how unique this album was at that time. Unique? Yes. What things that make this album unique? Only one thing: because it has a song which has a full-lenght drum solo "A Funky Kind of Thing". Why? By that time I was not aware if there was any song that contains only drumming while Billy Cobham offered something different than the others. You can guess, at that time I only played track no. 7 only from this album because I love solo drumming. Whenever I played the cassette (the only format I have at that time) I always blasted off my amplifier volume to get full enjoyment.

I knew Billy Cobham for the first time sometime in 1975 through his excellent debut album "Spectrum" because of the appearance of Tommy Bolin in that album. Tommy Bolin was suddenly a great name by that time because he was appointed as Ritchie Blackmore's replacement in Deep Purple's line up. In the same year, Deep Purple played a two-day concert in Jakarta. That was the first international rock concert for my country and it was phenomenal. Many of people whom later become my friends were there to see the concert. Unfortunately I could not afford to buy the ticket so I stayed at home. As Bolin was famous, I then bought the Billy Cobham "Spectrum".

I realize now that actually the whole album "A Funky Thide of Sings" is actually an excellent album after I play and enjoy every single track this album offers. In fact, the opening track "Panhandler" represents an excellent jazz-rock fusion music. Keith Jarret's "Sorcery" has been rearranged beautifully so it sounds really good. I like the brass section which involves many players here. "A Funky Thide Of Sings", "Thinking Of You", and also Randy Brecker's "Some Skunk Funk" plus the rest of the tracks are all good in terms of composition and performance. Billy's drumming style reminds me to the kind of combined styles between Steve Gadd and Bill Bruford.

Overall, this is a very good jazz-rock fusion music with a lot of nice brass section segments. Keep on proggin' ...!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

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Send comments to Gatot (BETA) | Report this review (#473320)
Posted Friday, July 01, 2011 | Review Permalink

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