Billy Cobham – Spectrum 40 Live (2015)

Billy Cobham - Spectrum 40 Live (2015)
Artist: Billy Cobham
Album: Spectrum 40 Live
Genre: Jazz-Rock, Fusion
Origin: USA
Released: 2015
Quality: mp3, 320 kbps

CD 1:
01. Sphere Of Influence (6:26)
02. Fragolino (8:38)
03. Stratus (10:15)
04. If The Animals Had Guns Too (4:56)
05. Heather (10:11)

CD 2:
01. Two Numbers (11:20)
02. Radio Active (5:52)
03. To The Woman In My Life-LeLis (12:59)
04. Quadrant Four-Spectrum (19:00)
05. Red Baron (9:26)


Billy Cobham, the pioneering jazz-rock fusion drummer who left all his rivals and imitators in the dust when he surfaced in the 1970s, always sounded like a complete musician rather than simply a technical miracle. Approaching 70, he still does. Cobham and a hard-rocking quartet are at Ronnie Scott’s, celebrating the 40th anniversary of the drummer’s bandleading debut album, Spectrum, by playing most of the music from it, and a little new material besides.

What made this flat-out show so much more than a routine tribute-band trot through a famous tracklist was the enthusiastic drive of the band. Guitarist Dean Brown, an old hand at this kind of music, launched into the climactic passages with a demented, risen-zombie ecstasy that was almost sinister, and keyboardist Gary Husband, a brilliant drummer himself, combined the anticipation and execution to hear what was coming from Cobham as soon as it began, and to prod his boss with phrases he knew he would pick up. The fast opener was a typical alternation of abrupt chord-slams, wailing guitar ascents and foxy fallbacks to quiet interludes fuelled only by Ric Fierabracci’s bass-guitar throb, Husband’s subtle harmonies and synth sounds, and Cobham’s sly backbeat. The leader’s lyrical Radioactive gave way to a rattling drum break, Spectrum’s breezy, Latin-harmonised title track, and a mid-set stretch of slightly indecisive balladeering for the veteran leader to cool down. Cobham then unwrapped his world-percussion resources in a solo passage in which he conjured up marimbas, talking-drums and chirrupping birds, flashed through fast snare rolls, and fell gradually back to silence. Spectrum’s best track, the deliriously galloping Quadrant 4 (originally a vehicle for Deep Purple guitarist Tommy Bolin) was shortchanged by only the briefest of visits, but the finale on the bluesily teasing Red Baron had the room gratefully clapping the groove. It was a hot-licks kind of jazz gig, of course – but in a very good way.

Copyright © 2021