I found a Top Reviewer on Amazon USA
and he speaks some great words on this CD, out next month.
by Andre S. Grindle on Amazon USA Site
[Ever since his time with the Mahavishnu Orchestra,Billy Cobham
was one of the original fusion drummers who took their craft
extremely seriously. From the first moments of his debut Spectrum,
one could see that Cobham's instrumental trademark was
going to be a compelling mixture of technical acumen
and high level rhythmic intensity. Haven't heard it in some time,
but I always found his approach on that album musically overwhelming
. Over the course of the 70's decade, Cobham began to balance his virtuosity
with a stronger vitality of song construction. By the time 1979 rolled around?
The disco era was coming to a close. For his part,Cobham heeded
this very little attention and instead focused on focusing
dancers in on his groove. For this album Cobham employed
the talents of arranger George Dl Barrio as well as a bevy of different
players for each number. He also chose to do that with the
production assistance of the late,great Crusaders
founder Wayne Henderson on this relatively rare
1979 release on Columbia.
"Oh Mendocino" is a tasty Brazilian funk/fusion number with
a strong melody sung by Jim Gilstrap and prominantly showcasing
the fast paced slap bass playing of Nathaniel Phillips.
"Dana" focuses in more on a Charles Stepney/Ramsey Lewis "sweeter funk"
instrumental attitude of a type I seldom hear from Billy Cobham during this era.
With the ferocious ARP synthesizer bass textures
of Bobby Lyle,"What Is Your Fantasy" is right out
of the late 70's Isley Brothers school
of chunky bass synthesizer textured hard funk.
Its my favorite number here. "A Little Travellin' Music"
introduces a heavy mix of percussion and orchestration
as Cobham's virousic drumming comes strong back into play.
The familiar "The Lonely Bull" is taken a frenetic Brazilain dance/funk
bass-filled with sweaty vocal sighs and whispers.
"I Don't Want To Be Without You" has this hugely melodic return
to the Ramsey Lewis soul/funk territory. "Bring Up The House Lights"
reunites Cobham with George Duke for a hard,bluesy,foot stomping funk group
where the two humorously rap with each
other about (among other things) album producer Wayne Henderson.
The "old" Cobham is somewhat represented
on "Viastar-An Encounter"-largely an unaccompanied drum solo
with a lot of phaser and ending with a space funk/fusion
melodic wash on synthesizer until fade out.
Though recorded during the last days of disco,this album defines itself
by taking the orchestration and dance floor friendliness
common to disco-dance music and offering up a great deal
of musical complication.
Unlike contemporary Lenny White? Billy Cobham made very few (if any at all)
attempts at simplifying his drumming steal for the "4 on the floor" beat.
Instead Cohbam's approach here accentuates the melody
in a much strong way And the approach of the orchestration borrows
from Brazilian pop,jazz and even European classical music.
They wrap in and around the music rather than being
an accessory. So no-a disco album Cobham did not make.
What he created was a very melodic and rhythmically involving
album that was full of percussion,powerful playing and funk all the way.
Truly a lost jazz/funk album worth seeking out for both admirers
of Billy Cobham and Wayne Henderson alike.]
Last edited by Colin on Sun Sep 27, 2015 4:35 am; edited 1 time in total