Billy Cobham’s “Spectrum 40” Returns to Yoshi’s

by on April 24, 2015

When we last saw the incredible drummer Billy Cobham, he was leading his Spectrum 40 band featuring guitarist Dean Brown, bassist Ric Fierabracci, keyboardist Gary Husband, and special guest and former Mahavishnu Orchestra alumni Jerry Goodman on violin, at Yoshi’s in Oakland for yet another stellar performance. Since that time, Cobham and the band again toured the East Coast (sans Goodman), returned to the Tama drum company, and performed with his European band in support of his wonderful “Tales From the Skeleton Coast” album; part three of a trilogy dedicated to his parents and his Panamanian and African roots. Next Tuesday and Wednesday, Cobham returns to Yoshi’s with the Spectrum 40 band, and a brand new double CD album entitled “Spectrum 40 Live”. Cobham’s live CD features recordings from last years’ celebrated Spectrum 40 tours, which dazzled audiences around the world in commemoration of the 40th anniversary of Spectrum CD, the defining album of the jazz-fusion genre.

“Ever since his breakthrough in the early 1970s as a founding member of the Mahavishnu Orchestra, and as a drummer/leader whose recordings (such as Spectrum) and powerful, complex style of play exerted a strong influence on the course of jazz and jazz-fusion-Billy Cobham has remained a tireless musical explorer.

Panamanian by birth, a New Yorker by upbringing, and a resident of Switzerland for more than 25 years, Cobham has pursued an ever-broadening, ever-deepening engagement with the world not only as a master drummer and percussionist but as a composer, producer, educator, and clinician who gives service through music even as he constantly expands his personal creative expression.”

All About Jazz also reviewed the album recently; “The impetus for the Spectrum 40 show and the March 2015 release of Spectrum 40 Live came from a “germ of an idea” in late 2012, which Cobham says “had to do with organizing a band to revisit compositions from my first album Spectrum. By this time, it was well over 40 years since I’d considered presenting most of the music recorded on Spectrum to the public. So, considering the fact that I could collaborate with some of the most imaginative artists in musical field, I chose to revive “Spectrum”, “Quadrant Four”, “To The Women In My Life”, “Le Lis” in addition to “Stratus” and “Red Baron” on this trip down memory lane. And, with the addition of “Fragolino”, “Radio Active”, “Heather” that I have rarely performed live. What you hear in this double CD package is the result of much energy expended and shared amongst a small core of individuals whom I can only thank for their direct input and total support of me and the music you find within the grooves of this double CD set.”

Billy Cobham’s Spectrum 40
Tuesday, April 28, 8:00 PM
Wednesday, April 29, 8:00 PM and 10:00 PM
Yoshi’s Oakland, Oakland, CA


E. ”Doc” Smith

E. ”Doc” Smith

E. "Doc" Smith is a musician, producer and recording artist with Edgetone Records, who has worked with the likes of Brian Eno, Madonna, Mickey Hart and many others. He is also the inventor of the musical instrument, the Drummstick and makes his home in San Francisco.

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