Electric studio project with Billy Cobham and group of Italian musicians with guest appearances by Michael and Randy Brecker, Eddie Gomez, and even Gregg Brown from Osibisa. Billy lays down a solid groove and the musicians solo over and around the beat, through instrumental and vocal tracks. The group perform original jazz/funk/fusion material, and a new version of Billy Cobham's 'Red Baron' with vocals.
Drummer Billy Cobham played some of the most exciting music of the 1970s. As a member of the Mahavishnu Orchestra and as a leader of his own bands, Cobham was at the forefront of the jazz fusion movement and was a prime mover during its glory days. He was still at it as of 2007, and proved more than capable of keeping up with both the new breed of fusion players and fellow veterans. Assisted by such stalwarts as Jan Hammer, Jeff Berlin, and Brian Auger, Cobham storms, crackles, and soars through a dazzling brace of dynamic, concise compositions on DRUM 'N' VOICE 2.
Following two studio recordings, this impressive band hit the road and cut this session with keyboardist George Duke. Their encounter provided for an uneven, but infectious, recording. "Hip Pockets," composed by Cobham, and "Ivory Tattoo," composed by Scofield, begin the session with some intense playing. Things get a bit goofy with "Space Lady" (a song which probably worked better live), and a bit melodramatic with "Almustafa the Beloved."
A two-LP set of drummer Billy Cobham's harder to find recordings from the later '70s. Of the two, Magic is far superior and is generally regarded as one of his most interesting recordings in his extensive discography. The addition of Simplicity of Expression: Depth of Thought amounts to nothing more than a throw in. Cobham recorded some embarrassing disco during the late '70s and this is a prime example. This two-fer is too good to pass up, though, and makes the LP highly recommended for fusion collectors.
A lesser known Cobham recording that has only been available in the U.S. as an import. Cobham also seems to push guitarists to new heights (i.e. Tommy Bolin, John Abercrombie, John Scofield) and does so here with Barry Finnerty. Their interaction on the tune "Flight Time" is reminiscent of Cobham/Bolin on Spectrum. Yet, despite the intensity and chops of Finnerty and Cobham, this session is remarkably restrained thanks in large part to the thoughtful playing of keyboarist Don Grolnick. There is a definite sense of a band here, rather than just a collection of all-stars playing Billy Cobham songs; in fact, the only Cobham retread is "Antares" (from Magic). Whether it is Don Grolnick's piano solo on "6 Persimmons" or his opening duet with Barry Finnerty on "Princess," Cobham should get just as much credit for what he did not play.