Tuesday, March 24, 2015

CD Review: Jazz Drummer Billy Cobham Reflects On His Past With Two New Live Releases

Jazz drummer Billy Cobham has had an amazing career that has lasted over forty years. He has performed along side some of the biggest names in jazz like Miles Davis, George Benson and Horace Silver. He was one of the founding members of the Mahavishnu Orchestra along with John McLaughlin and was a touring drummer for Carlos Santana. In between all that, he managed to release nine solo albums. Now, Cleopatra Records is reminding us how good of a musician he was with a two-part CD release. The first disc "Mirror's Image" captures the first set of Cobham and his band performing live in Tokyo, Japan on February 15, 1992. The trio includes Cobham on drums, Ira Coleman on bass and Joe Chindamo on keyboards. The six-song release begins with Cobham slowly introducing the crowd to his talents as he feels his way around the drums before locking in with the rest of the band on the seventeen-minute opener "Mirror's Image." The tempo picks with "Kinky Dee," lead by the wonderful bass/keyboard jam, but its Cobham's drum solo that makes you forget about all the rest. The way Joe Chindamo tickles the keys in "Leeward Winds" is just amazing as the disc closes with the fifteen-minute slow waltz of "Layed Back Lifestyle."
The second disc entitled "Reflected Journey" continues the concert from 1992, beginning with the quick, electrifying bounce of "Prime Time," as everyone is on point. The band slows down for the ambient feel of the title song "Reflected Journey," before closing the disc with the short "Improvisation," led by the bass grooves of Ira Coleman. The two discs will be released almost two months apart ("Mirror's Image" on Feb. 17 & "Reflected Journey" on April 28). To find out more about these amazing discs, please visit cleorecs.com.

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