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Billy Cobham - Billy Cobham Presents Nordic: Off Color CD (album) cover

BILLY COBHAM PRESENTS NORDIC: OFF COLOR

Billy Cobham

Jazz Rock/Fusion


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snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Since Billy Cobham moved to live in Zurich, he started some European projects,two of them were of strictly geographical origin: one with less-known Italian musicians and another with Norwegian jazz artists (under the name of "Nordic"). First tour and recordings with "Nordic" happened in 1996, this album is their second collaboration.

Most interesting part of this project for me was participation on it known Norwegian jazz pianist Bugge Wesseltoft. But - unhappily - I was really disappointed by this release.

From very first seconds of listening you can's be mistaken - it's Billy Cobham's album!His drumming is strong,cold and placed in front of all sound. But not this is a main problem - it's strange thing, but Cobham's drumming there is less jazzy sound of all album! I didn't find information how this album was recorded (the only thing I know it was recorded in Oslo,Norway), but during the bigger part of it I had a feeling Cobham played and recorded his quite straight forward drumming line first, and all other musicians just added their shy soloing and small improvs around that thunder-like drumming.

Possibly, I am wrong with my vision of this music, but one thing I know for sure - there are only minimal signs of interplays and collaboration between musicians. Billy works as precise as Swiss watch beating one of most simplest rhythms I ever heard from him without paying minimal attention on other musicians around.First half of the album sounds as drumming lab for musical students (with some skilled but shy musicians trying to improvise near the Master,but they are almost afraid to be noticed!).Later (as it would be concert or one-day recording session) music becomes a bit relaxed,piano sound becomes louder,and on behind of Billy's drum-machine like drumming we can hear some nice Nordic jazz moments. On some compositions sound becomes warmer, drums don't kill all other musical sounds to death,and few songs with really great piano and sax interplay are almost beautiful.There are even kind of funky groove in a few moments! But even there main problem is drums - they are absolutely out of place!

I expect the problem with such a disastrous recording is some really talented musicians didn't find a way to play together. And even if each of them played his part really good, common musical product wasn't born.

It's a pity, but this album could attract Cobham's hot fans and collectors only.

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Send comments to snobb (BETA) | Report this review (#402837)
Posted Friday, February 18, 2011 | Review Permalink

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