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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!

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Showing posts with label Billy Cobham. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Billy Cobham. Show all posts

Friday, December 17, 2021

Cleopatra Records: Animals Reimagined: A Tribute To Pink Floyd - New Release Review

 I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Animals Reimagined: A Tribute To Pink Floyd and it's quite interesting. Opening with Pigs On The Wing, Part 1, Cutting Crew vocalist, Nick Crew is paired with Jethro Tull's Martin Barre for an ethereal acoustic intro that nicely wets the appetite. The first of three major compositions on the release, (17 minute) Dogs, features Rainbow's Graham Bonnet on lead vocal, UFO's Vinnie Moore on guitar, Utopia bassist Kasim Sulton, Dream Theater key player Jordan Rudess and King Crimson drummer Pat Mastelotto. This is a really cool idea of bringing together contemporary progressive players to reinterpret these masterpieces. We've got a different lineup for the 2nd of the major compositions, (11 and a half minute) Pigs (Three Different Ones) including Dream Theater vocalist James LaBrie, Return To Forever and major solo artist Al DiMeola on guitar, Blue Oyster Cult bassist Joe Bouchard, Moody Blues  key player Partick Moraz and session man, Mahavishnu Orchestra and extreme drummer soloist, Billy Cobham. Very cool. The third of the masterworks is (10 and a half minute) Sheep featuring Arthur Brown on lead vocal, Yes and key/synth phenom Rick Wakeman, Focus and major guitar soloist Jan Akkerman, Bahaus bassist David J., and Cactus, Vanilla Fudge, Jeff Beck and solo drummer, Carmine Appice. Extensive soloing on all three compositions are flamboyant, exciting and not overly self indulgent. Wrapping the release is Pigs On The Wing, Part 2 matches Yes vocalist Jon Davison with Eric Clapton and session man, soli guitarist Albert Lee on guitars and Billy Sherwood on acoustic guitar and effects. This was a well conceived project in 1977 and quite enjoyable in 2021.

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Saturday, January 12, 2013

Red Baron - George Duke Band

Billy Cobham - Drums George Duke - Keyboards, Vocals John Scofield - Guitar Alphonso Johnson - Bass, Chapman Stick, Vocals George Duke (born January 12, 1946 in San Rafael, California) is a multi-faceted American musician, known as a keyboard pioneer, composer, singer and producer in both jazz and popular mainstream musical genres. He has worked with numerous acclaimed artists as arranger, music director, writer and co-writer, record producer and professor of music. He first made a name for himself with the album The Jean-Luc Ponty Experience with the George Duke Trio. He is known primarily for thirty-odd solo albums as well as for his collaborations with other musicians, particularly Frank Zappa. Duke attended Tamalpais High School in Mill Valley before earning a bachelor's degree in trombone and composition with a minor in contrabass, from the San Francisco Conservatory in 1967. Playing initially with friends from garages to local clubs, Duke quickly eased his way into session work, which refined his abilities and expanded his approach to music. (He later earned his Masters Degree in composition from San Francisco State University. His website mentions a short stint teaching a course on Jazz And American Culture at Merritt Junior College in Oakland). Beginning in 1967 Duke experimented further with jazz fusion, playing and recording with violinist Jean-Luc Ponty, as well as performing with the Don Ellis Orchestra, and Cannonball Adderley's band, while he acquainted himself with the avantgarde musician Frank Zappa. Duke appeared on a number of Frank Zappa's albums in the early and mid-1970s, including Chunga's Revenge, 200 Motels, Waka/Jawaka, The Grand Wazoo, Apostrophe, Over-Nite Sensation, One Size Fits All, Bongo Fury and Roxy & Elsewhere. Duke's other high-profile collaborators include Jean-Luc Ponty, Stanley Clarke, Billy Cobham, Cannonball Adderley, his cousin Dianne Reeves, Deniece Williams, Jeffrey Osborne, George Clinton, Anita Baker, Regina Belle, Rachelle Ferrell, Marilyn Scott and Mike Mainieri's jazz fusion group Steps Ahead, for whom he produced the track "Magnetic Love." Duke played on Herb Ellis' album, Soft Shoe (Concord, 1974) with Harry Sweets Edison; Duke played the piano and organ. He also served as a record producer and composer on two instrumental tracks on Miles Davis albums: "Backyard Ritual" (from Tutu, 1986) and "Cobra" (from Amandla, 1989). He has also worked with a number of notable Brazilian musicians, including singer Milton Nascimento, percussionist Airto Moreira and singer Flora Purim. Sheila E appeared on Duke's late-1970s solo albums Don't Let Go and Master of the Game. Duke had been fairly visible in the R&B world releasing funk-based songs like "Reach for It" and "Dukey Stick". In 1979 he traveled to Rio de Janeiro, where he recorded A Brazilian Love Affair. He employed singers Flora Purim and Milton Nascimento and percussionist Airto Moreira. The album featured some Latin jazz and jazz-influenced material. From a jazz standpoint, the album's most noteworthy songs include Nascimento's "Cravo e Canela," "Love Reborn," and "Up from the Sea It Arose and Ate Rio in One Swift Bite." In addition was "Brazilian Sugar" which was featured on the 2006 video game Dead or Alive Xtreme 2. Meanwhile, Nascimento's vocal on the ballad "Ao Que Vai Nascer" is an example of Brazilian pop at its most sensuous. This acclaimed album contained a wide variety of genres. Duke has also worked as musical director at numerous large-scale musical events, including the Nelson Mandela tribute concert at Wembley Stadium, London in 1988. In 1989, he temporarily replaced Marcus Miller as musical director of NBC's acclaimed late-night music performance program Sunday Night during its first season. Duke was also a judge for the 2nd annual Independent Music Awards to support independent artists' careers. "No Rhyme or No Reason" can be heard during the period of time designated as Quiet Storm. Duke's songs have been used by a wide variety of contemporary musicians in a wide array of genres. These include: "I Love You More", sampled by house music-act Daft Punk for their hit "Digital Love"; "Guilty", sampled by electronica music artist Mylo in his song "Guilty of Love" on Destroy Rock & Roll. "For Love", sampled by underground hip hop artist MF Doom on his track "I Hear Voices"; "Someday", sampled by hip hop artist/producer Kanye West for Common in "Break My Heart" on his "Finding Forever" album; "You and Me", sampled and used by soul/rhythm and blues influenced hip hop-producer 9th Wonder for his collaboration album with Kaze for the track "Spirit Of '94" on the album Spirit Of '94: Version 9.0; and "Reach for It", sampled by Ice Cube in "True to the Game" on his Death Certificate album and Spice 1 in "In My Neighborhood" on his self-titled debut album. Recently, Duke worked with Jill Scott on her third studio album, The Real Thing: Words and Sounds Vol. 3; guesting on the track, "Whenever You're Around". Since it was released it has peaked at No.56 on U.S. Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks. In the Summer of 2011, he put together a trio with David Sanborn and Marcus Miller for a tour across the USA of more than 20 sold out shows. By popular vote, George Duke was inducted into The SoulMusic Hall Of Fame at in December 2012. If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, ”LIKE” ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorite band!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Purple Pyramid artists: The Fusion Syndicate - New release review

Now here's something different! I just received the new release from The Fusion Syndicate. This band is made up of jazz, rock and blues superstars and the recording is all you could wish for in this format. Billy Sherwood, writer of all compositions and with a background of top bands as long as your arm played keys, guitars drums, synth and vocals throughout this recording. The opening track, Random Acts Of Science, has strong hints to the Mahavishnu Orchestra featuring Rick Wakeman (Yes) on keys, Jerry Goodman (Flock, Mahavishnu Orchestra) on violin, Nik Turner (Hawkwind) on sax and Jimmy Haslip (Yellowjackets)on bass. This is a terrific track and one that shows not only the virtuosity of all of the instrumentalists and excellent writing skills of Sherwood, but also brings back into the forefront one of my favorite fusion violin players. This is no lightweight composition and all instrumentation is first class. Next up is Stone Cold Infusion, a funky track featuring Steve Stevens ( Billy Idol, Michael Jackson) blistering guitar work, Jordan Rudess (Dream Theater) keys, Mel Collins (King Crimson, Camel, Alan Parsons) sax, Colin Edwin (Porcupine Tree)bass, and the unmistakable work of Billy Cobham (Mahavishnu Orchestra) on drums. There is a lot of hot playing on this track! Molecular Breakdown features David Sancious on keys, Jay Beckenstein (Spyro Gyra) sax, Billy Sheehan (Mr. Big, Steve Vai)on bass and Gavin Harrison (Porchpine Tree) on drums. Particle Accelerations features Mr. Larry Coryell with his unmistakable style on guitar, Derek Sherinian (Dream Theaterm Black Country Communion) on keys, Eric Marienthal (Chick Corea)sax and Chester Thompson (Zappa, Genesis, Steve Hackett)on drums. Coryell's playing alone on this track is worth the price of admission. At The Edge Of The Middle is a bit more laid back featuring Steve Morse (Dixie Dregs, Deep Purple) on guitars, Jimi Beard (Mahavishnu Orchestra) on piano, Randy Brecker (Brecker Brothers) on trumpet and Percy Jones (Brand X , Soft Machine)on bass. Morse and Brecker both play outstanding riffs on this track. Atom Smashing features John Etheridge (Soft Machine) on guitars, Tony Kaye (Circa, Badger, Yes) on Hammond and synth and Chad Wackerman (Zappa)drums. This is a fairly straightforward track but extremely tight musicianship. In The Spirit Of... features Steve Hillage (Gong, Khan) on guitars, Scott Kinsey (Tribal Tech) on keys, Theo Travis(soloist) sax, Justin Chancellor (Tool)on bass and Asaf Sirkis (soloist) who is a prime contributor on this track on drums. This is an excellent recording if you are at all interested in progressive J/R Fusion. The casual listener will enjoy smooth sax solos and the serious musician will feel the heat of hypnotic drums, tight bass riffs, ripping guitar solos and intricate key solos along with great composition. If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, Like ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorites band! ”LIKE”

Saturday, December 31, 2011

One of my favorite fusion songs - Stratus (Billy Cobham) Joe Bonamassa, Tommy Bolin, Frank Gamble, Jeff Beck, Chris Duarte

I remember the first time I heard this song. Before I played guitar I played drums and was really blown away by guys like Ginger Baker and john Bonham... but then there was Tony Williams .. and Billy Cobham! I was still living with mom and dad...well, I think I was home from college and I had like the best full blown stereo system that a kid could imagine... i won't go into all of my obsessions... but anyway I had all of my gear in the 2nd story of a two story house and the pool table of course was in the basement. I rigged wire to the basement and would put LP's on and then go down and play pool for 20 minutes to play pool with my pal Blues Ace. I would buy lp's by the armloads and play them all day while we played pool (I had a reel deck for parties). Anyway I would buy stuff I never heard (who'd a thunk it) and put it on and then go down to play pool. Spectrum comes on and and I about drop my pool cue. I had to find out who was playing guitar...I mean I bought a drum album.

It was Tommy Bolin. If you've never had the pleasure... woah.
Sorry no real video...but you can get the feel. If you like this at all, you should check out some of the Miles Davis (Amandela), Mahavishnu (Birds of Fire), Billy Cobham (Spectrum)...well, If you like it, and you want to know more,,,please comment. I have a lot of worthless knowledge up in my head and I am willing to share it.... conversly if you know someone that I should hear... stop holding out on me!! Enjoy!!

Of course I was blown away to find that my favorite contemporary player does it a few years ago...listen here:

Chris Duarte does a version of it... and a nice job!

Even Joe Bonamassa does it!

I love all of these guitar players... and Jeff beck almost always has the best guitar players on the planet.... but for all my drummer friends... here's Billy Cobham!! (He's one of the most articulate drummers to walk the universe!)

You name it ...they're here!
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Hope you enjoyed this as much as i did!!