Billy Cobham’s “Spectrum 40” featuring Jerry Goodman, Dean Brown, Gary Husband and Ric Fierabracci, Thurs. January 31, 2013
Billy Cobham’s “Spectrum 40” featuring Jerry Goodman, Dean Brown, Gary Husband and Ric Fierabracci
Thursday, January 31
“… one of the pivotal figures in jazz-rock…” – Variety magazine
Drummer Billy Cobham celebrates the 40th anniversary of Spectrum, his recording debut as a bandleader. Now considered a jazz/fusion landmark, Spectrum showcased Cobham’s talents as an innovative drummer who could blend the power of rock with the finesse of jazz. It also drew attention to his budding skills as a composer of high-energy music that could attract fans of jazz and rock, alike. Throughout the last four decades, he has pursued artistic excellence as a bandleader, sideman, composer, and educator. For this special tour, Cobham has recruited fellow ex-Mahavishnu compatriot Jerry Goodman on violin, along with long-time cohorts Dean Brownon guitarm Gary Husband on keyboards, and Ric Fierabracci on bass.
Born in Panama, in 1944, Billy Cobham grew up in New York City and attended the renowned High School of the Arts. A fan of jazz from a young age, his musical heroes included Art Blakey, Max Roach, and Philly Joe Jones. In the late ’60s, after serving in the Army, Cobham began gigging around New York, attracting attention with his energetic, yet musical style. His versatility became his calling card, as he was one of the few drummers of that period who sounded equally at home in jazz, blues, Latin, pop or rock, and was a prominent innovator in the evolving fusion movement. His first major recording studio date was with guitarist George Benson in 1967. In 1968, Cobham was recording and touring with pianist/composer Horace Silver. In 1969, he was a founding member of the jazz/rock group Dreams. The short-lived Dreams included trumpeter Randy Brecker, saxophonist Michael Brecker, and keyboardist/composer Don Grolnick, all of whom became noted jazz artists in the years to come. Over the next five years, a very busy Cobham appeared as a sideman on numerous jazz albums with artists as diverse as Mose Allison, Shirley Scott, Stanley Turrentine, Milt Jackson, Miles Davis, and Deodato (2001 Space Odyssey theme).
After working with guitarist John McLaughlin on Miles Davis’ Tribute to Jack Johnson session, Cobham became a member of McLaughlin’s original Mahavishnu Orchestra lineup. The group pioneered a mix of high volume, amplified rock with sophisticated jazz improvisation, navigating odd time signatures with precision and ease. Over the next couple of years, Cobham gained full-blown superstar status, mesmerizing audiences with his ambidextrous technique and thunderous drumming. Just as Cobham’s association with the Mahavishnu Orchestra was coming to an end in 1973, he released Spectrum, featuring ex-Mahavishnu bandmate Jan Hammer on keyboards, with bassist Lee Sklar and guitarist Tommy Bolin. Aside from establishing Cobham as a bandleader, Spectrum, in recent decades, gained a ‘second life’ with hip-hop artists extensively sampling its deep grooves. Now, with Spectrum 40, Billy Cobham revisits the music that placed him in the pantheon of jazz artists who continue to enrich the musical landscape.
Billy Cobham’s “Spectrum 40”
DATE: Thursday, January 31, 2013
PLACE: Kuumbwa Jazz Center
ADDRESS: 320 Cedar St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
TIMES: 7:00 and 9:00 PM
PRICE: $26/Adv $29/Door, No Comps
TICKETS: Logos Books & Records, 1117 Pacific Ave, Santa Cruz (831) 427-5100 and online at: http://www.kuumbwajazz.org
MORE INFO: http://www.kuumbwajazz.org or 831-427-2227
Nancy Balik Ftizgerald
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