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Palindrome internet review

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1 Palindrome internet review on Sat Jan 23, 2010 12:24 pm

Came across this today. Haven't seen the CD for sale yet anywhere, so don't know if it's released yet, though it was supposed to come out on the 15th. But it's a great CD as I've said before in another thread. here's the review:

Saturday, 23 January 2010
“Palindrome,” New Release from Billy Cobham
Written by Reid J. Kennedy
Saturday, 23 January 2010


Drummer Billy Cobham has performed with a variety of musicians throughout his career. Former employers include hard bop pianist Horace Silver, tenor saxophonist Stanley Turrentine, and smooth jazz guitarist George Benson. Cobham has also appeared with the Grateful Dead and the Saturday Night Live Band. While he has encountered numerous ensembles and genres in the past half century, the Percussive Arts Society Hall of Fame inductee is best known for his abilities in a fusion setting. Cobham’s 2010 release, Palindrome (Multimedia Concepts), is further evidence supporting this case.

The album opens with an updated arrangement of Cobham’s “Moon Germs,” originally released in 1975 on the Total Eclipse record. With its funky bassline, solid pocket, and tight horn lines, this track is a suitable microcosm for a majority of the album. “Moon Germs’” use of guitar and keyboard riffs is another common thread within Cobham’s arrangements. “Two For Juan,” revisited from 1987’s Picture This, opens with a driving theme played over the drummer’s relentless backbeat. The combination of instrumentation and melodic material produce a theme suitable for an action sequence on Miami Vice. The tune takes a different direction as keyboardist Christophe Cravero and trombonist Marshall Gilkes take turns blowing over an interlude prior to the return of the initial groove and guitar solo. A mountain climb toward the original theme ensues, not complete without some space for Cobham. “Obliquely Speaking” is one of five new compositions on the album, though it bares multiple similarities to “Two For Juan.” The use of steel pan adds a tropical flavor to this track.

By the fourth tune, “Isle of Skye,” the ensemble sound is firmly in place. Listeners know what to expect at this point, and those in search of groove-oriented music with a Latin tinge will not be disappointed. This second new composition on Palindrome offers a few calming moments when the music breathes a relaxing sigh. “A Day’s Grace,” from 1981’s Flight Time, begins softly before giving way to the straight-eight feel that propels the tune. Guitar, keyboard, and violin all receive solo space before the melody returns. Percussionist Marco Lobo adds some tasteful rhythms to the conclusion. Riff-based “Mirage” is reminiscent of the Dave Weckl Band with shades of Dave Holland with Billy Kilson, and even recordings of Michel Camilo. It was originally recorded on the Focused album in 1997.

A close listen to “Cancun Market” reveals the level of intricacy that encompasses many of the melodies Cobham composes. Nearly two minutes of syncopated rhythms comprise the head and give way to a steel pan solo played by Wilbert Gill. Guitar and keyboard solos follow thereafter, prior to the head out. “Torpedo Flo” is in six and morphs through a variety of grooves and feels in that time signature. Trombonist Gilkes returns for a tasteful ride over Cobham’s relaxed, pseudo-samba feel that continues during the keyboard solo, as well. “Alfa Waves,” originally from 1995’s The Traveler, is a samba in three and features the “string” section of the group. Bassist Philippe Chayeb, who is solid throughout the entire album, opens the blowing and is followed by violin and guitar solos. It should be noted that the violin parts are played by keyboardist Cravero. Interestingly, this tune is placed directly after the only other tune in three (or six) on the record. “Saippuakivikauppias,” the palindrome song, concludes the album. The catch here is that, like the title, the tune is the same forward and backward.

Billy Cobham’s Palindrome looks into the past while moving forward with contemporary ideas. There is no denying the drummer’s ability to play in the pocket, and with this release, he has made clear his musical preferences as they stand in 2010.

Reid Kennedy is a drummer, composer and educator based in the Twin Cities

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2 Re: Palindrome internet review on Mon Jan 25, 2010 3:33 pm

Wow! Can't wait! The master re-invents himself once again...

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3 Re: Palindrome internet review on Tue Jan 26, 2010 2:44 pm

“Alfa Waves,” originally from 1995’s The Traveler, is a samba in three "

Don't understand.
can't wrap my head around this concept.
How is a samba played in 3?
Or is it a latin sounding waltz?
or 3 on 4 that makes more sense
a samba with an underlying triplet feel?
I have to hear this to understand.

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4 Samba in 3 of course on Tue Jan 26, 2010 6:30 pm

Kenny go to my web site. There is a short sampling of it there.

Boomer Idea

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5 Re: Palindrome internet review on Wed Jan 27, 2010 2:16 pm

Very cool. i get it. I wonder how that be would expressed as a time signature? saying "in 3" gives a clue. 3 bars of 4/4? anyway i love it!
learn something new every day! great !

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6 Re: Palindrome internet review on Wed Jan 27, 2010 3:21 pm

Obviously I can't do notation here, Kenny. But using the bass note pattern over two bar lines would go something like this:

8th notes across the page, the hyphens represent bar lines and the dotted forward slashes represent 8th note rests.

d - d ./ ./ d d ././ d d ././ d - d ./ ./ d d ./ ./ d d ./ ./ :

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7 Re: Palindrome internet review on Thu Jan 28, 2010 7:18 pm

do you guys know if I can drop in a rhythmic sample on this page? I'd use Adobe PDF or would you have a better idea? Pete I wonder if there is a simple way offer some written ideas in musical script here? This would be a great way to share musical ideas. Boomer

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8 Re: Palindrome internet review on Thu Jan 28, 2010 7:36 pm

That would definitely be a plus and much easier.

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9 Re: Palindrome internet review on Sat Jan 30, 2010 1:42 am

Boomer, I'm not sure if you can upload a PDF file to a thread. However, one way you could get the info up would be to write out what you want on a sheet of paper , or note paper , then scan it , convert it to a jpeg. and upoad as you would a photo.

Of course that's assuming you have a scanner handy, which I realize would probably not be available to you if you're on the road. LOL

Just tryin to help. Peace, TED

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