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Billy Cobham - Magic CD (album) cover


Billy Cobham


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.67 | 31 ratings

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4 stars A fusion album for fans of symphonic prog?

"Magic" by Mr. Cobham is sort of a mixed bag, but oh what a lovely bag it is!

Don't worry it's not unfocused, nor just a pile of ideas glued without a sense. This is a team work at its best, together with brilliant ideas, superb musicianship and...what else? Well, the year is 1977 - and Billy is obviously smoother and more commercial...but who could blame him for that. He admitted that he's esoteric but he always loved money!!!

Fair enough.

Now, don't let that discourage you. This is a mature statement, a piece of concrete. Solos are sometimes sharp, sometimes fluffy - but there is no more "noodling" present on "Spectrum"...for better or for worse.

The CD contains eight tracks jazz-rock/fusion ornamented with funky, spices of blues, a teaspoon of Latino, traces of disco, a sip of easy listening music and a solid amount of...hard rock. And rap, mind you. Mr. Cobham himself as a vocalist. Or rapper. So ahead of it's time. And it sounds great - believe it or not - with driving bass and congas in background, that's only the part of a multi-part composition - this is art indeed.

That's what I like the most on this album; all the songs are mini-suites. Melodies are awesome and memorable if simple, astonishing if complex. Try to imagine Lionel Ritchie and The Commodores at his best on 45 in instrumental version. No, that's not the best comparison.

However, this is a neat little record, and I won't tell that it aged well. Because it didn't aged at all, it's absolutely out of time. The production is crystal clear yet meaty, Moog and Oberheim synth solos are adding an extra dimension to the record (and I'm strongly recommending it to the fans of symphonic prog), but nothing sounds "dated". In a way, synths sound ahead of its time. Electric piano is great. Bass and guitar too. Not to mention drums.

In conclusion, this is highly recommended - to all the fans of GOOD MUSIC.

clarke2001 | 4/5 |


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