RiRiIII

Billy Cobham picks 10 essential drum recordings.

24 posts in this topic

I guess he's not a fan of Art Blakey.

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I'd pick some different drummers and make some different choices for some of the drummers I agree with. I imagine that Mr. Cobham and I inhabit different worlds and that's good for both of us.

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I like them all except Buddy Rich and they are all the foundation of this music but one guesses that nothing matters much for the past 40 years.

Same as it ever was for most.

Fwiw I loved Birds of Fire when I was 20 and I think Cobham on that record and Jack Johnson plays with a rare fire and new invented groove.

I've never been tempted to want to listen to him on anything recorded since that time.

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No bad choices, no dumb comments, although I still don't "get" Louis Bellson the way I maybe probably should.

Love this comment about Sam Woodyard:

The band was moving him, and he was moving them – it was a mutual agreement.

cf Baby Dodds' "Playing For the Benefit Of The Band".

An eternal verity, as they say.

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His choices surprise me - not the players but rather the albums he chose.

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I always enjoy these kinds of articles - it's interesting to hear musicians' thoughts about others' music, at least if they are trying to engage with it honestly. And I'm especially fascinated by how non-straight-ahead musicians perceive "the tradition".

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Cobham plays the tradition as well as anything, though it's not what most know him for obviously. I heard bits of those albums with Ron Carter and Kenny Barron, (I think) and "Cherry" by Stanley Turrentine, if all you think of Cobham is speed, there is so much taste, swing and groove on that one.

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I like them all except Buddy Rich and they are all the foundation of this music but one guesses that nothing matters much for the past 40 years.

Same as it ever was for most.

Fwiw I loved Birds of Fire when I was 20 and I think Cobham on that record and Jack Johnson plays with a rare fire and new invented groove.

I've never been tempted to want to listen to him on anything recorded since that time.

However Mr. Reynolds, and not surprised by that take, it is the West Side Story album and Buddy Rich is nothing short of a MF on that date, which is probably why it was chosen.

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I loved the article. Cobham was self-taught, and his opinions display the same autodidact quality: he thinks for himself. Interesting that he mentions so many drummers who aren't discussed often (at least on this board): Louis Bellson, Jo Jones, Mel Lewis, Sonny Payne, Sam Woodyard. You can tell he listened to these guys and came away with their distinct characteristics. It's also interesting that he thinks of Max Roach for his politics; one wonders what Cobham thinks of his drumming. But that is a problem when an artist gets so identified with their political work - it can overshadow their art.

I also loved this line: "[laughs] These are personalities that I do not encounter now."

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I like how he did not mention any current pop drummers, which sometimes happens in an online list of this sort.

Richard Davis, my jazz history professor at the University of Wisconsin in the late 1970s and early 1980s (you could take the class multiple times as different subject matter was covered each semester, and I did take it multiple times) told our class that Billy Cobham is known for his jazz-fusion drumming, but that "he can play anything....ANYTHING!" Davis chose him as the drummer on his mainstream 1977 Fancy Free album, in a group with Eddie Henderson, Joe Henderson and Stanley Cowell.

So it does not surprise me that Cobham knows the jazz tradition as well as he shows here.

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Yes indeed! His liners to the very good "The Art of Three" are another great read. Love how totally un-blasé he comes across ... yet obviously he's got his stuff together.

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And no commentary for the Buddy Rich pick...just, like...if you have to ask why, don't.

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cocaine is a hell of a drug; first, the once brilliant Lowell George-- fried barely 1/3rd of the way through "Dixie Chicken," Little Feat's last tolerable stand, songwise-- then Bobby...

... with Billy in pink from an unidentified Brooklyn Heights rooftop--

Edited by MomsMobley

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Yes, interesting to read Billy's choices and commentary. As Paul said, my choice of drummers and specific recordings would be somewhat different.

Perhaps what surprised me the most was that Philly Joe Jones was not included.

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His choices surprise me - not the players but rather the albums he chose.

Same here. Elvin is great on A Love Supreme, but I don't usually think of it as an "Elvin record" in the way that some other Coltrane dates clearly are.

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As a personal favs thing, it makes more sense than two "50 greatest drummer' things purporting to objectivety I saw recently that both omitted Al Jackson of the MGs.

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The studio album is great too. The connection to Louie makes total sense on that one, and the Tama drums on the cover are a dead giveaway. Is he listed on the OJC? I only listened on Spotify, but I recall from seeing reviews due to contractual obligations he's referred to as "the drummer".

.

Edited by CJ Shearn

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Love the Billy Cobham / Louis Bellson Drum Explosion - Matterhorn, a live recording of two of my drumming heros http://www.allmusic.com/album/matterhorn-louie-bellson-drum-explosion-mw0000318845

The studio album is great too. The connection to Louie makes total sense on that one, and the Tama drums on the cover are a dead giveaway. Is he listed on the OJC? I only listened on Spotify, but I recall from seeing reviews due to contractual obligations he's referred to as "the drummer".

.

Wow. I remember when "Matterhorn" came out, and couldn't figure out the cover; I figured it was one of those Pablo headscratchers. I'll have to go back and revisit that. In fact, now looking through Amazon, I'm seeing all sorts of interesting albums involving Bellson. Which one was the studio album with Cobham?

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On 4/8/2014 at 8:51 AM, mjzee said:

 

 

 

Wow. I remember when "Matterhorn" came out, and couldn't figure out the cover; I figured it was one of those Pablo headscratchers. I'll have to go back and revisit that. In fact, now looking through Amazon, I'm seeing all sorts of interesting albums involving Bellson. Which one was the studio album with Cobham?

Just found an unopened LP copy of Matterhorn via Dusty Groove.  No mention of Cobham anywhere.  A typical excerpt from the liner notes: "In the first set of fours, the other drummer is followed by Bellson."  Even though, under Personnel, the only drummer listed is Bellson.  Maybe it was a contractual thing.  Another weird thing: Bellson wrote the liner notes, yet he refers to himself in the third person.

According to the LP, it was recorded at Heider Filmways, Hollywood.  Live in the studio?

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