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Billy Cobham - Palindrome CD (album) cover


Billy Cobham

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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Honorary Collaborator
2 stars I listened very fresh Panama-born legend drummer Billy Cobham's album with very mixed feeling. I really like his work in Mahavishnu Orchestra and his solo works from 70-s. And I saw him playing live with almost the same team of musicians as on this recordings with interest and pleasure just half a year ago.

So waited this album with strong interest (whenever his previous work was really at the low point). So, from very sounds of new album I feel .... disappointment. Album opener, "Moon Germs" is coming from Cobham's Total Eclipse album (1975), and even if still saved some funky feeling, sounds really dated with all these horns around. So, today, in year 2010 Cobham recorded his old composition in brass orchestration a-la 60-s?What for?

Second song ,Two For Juan ,is coming from Cobham's "Picture This" album (1987), and sounds as contemporary jazz with easy listening elements. At least , orchestration is a bit more complex, than the opener.

Obliquely Speaking is world fusion with brass section. Sunny Latin-pop melody. And it is one of five new compositions on the album. Full of tropical steel pan percussion.

Isle Of Skye is smooth jazz with Latin groove. Drumming is great though. A Days Grace is coming from Flight Time (1981) again, melodic commercial tune. From now you know what you can expect from this album.

Mirage is more riff-based song (from "Focused" album, 1997), but again very pop-friendly. Cancun Market is world pop-fusion, some syncopated rhythm doesn't save it from sounding as background music for travel agency advert. Torpedo Flo sounds as good restaurant band playing on sea coast during hot summer season. Alfa Waves (originally from 1995's The Traveller) is another Latin pop-jazz example with some groove and keyboard solos.

Last song, "Saippuakivikauppias," concludes the album. No surprises, you know yet.

It's difficult for me to understand, what for this kind of music could be recorded in 2010 by such capable musician. Out of time and place. Money is matter..?This album for sure isn't so good today even for that.

Still very competent drummer, it looks Cobham just missed the breathing of life. Pity.

Report this review (#270719)
Posted Tuesday, March 9, 2010 | Review Permalink
Marty McFly
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Funky, tropical disappointment. Everything sounds sunny, happy, like Caribbean rhythms were the main moving force behind this album. This could have been good album, even average score for Prog lovers of his few previous albums isn't exactly the best he could have get.

Snobb Slava is right in many things, his work with Mahavishnu is good example of how skilled he was. And still is, drums here are the main instrument for me. However, there is stench of what is around them. I don't like this type of tunes.

There is something from Jazzy atmosphere, it still is. Sometimes just glance somewhere in these songs, sometimes more prominent (Two For Juan), even nothing extremely Proggy.

I've just lost few paragraphs of my review due to BSOD, but I think they're not necessary.

3(-), it's long album, but too long for what's its appeal.

Report this review (#281136)
Posted Sunday, May 9, 2010 | Review Permalink

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