Billy Cobham

Billy's Best Hits

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It would be hard to slice a career any thinner than does this so-called"best hits" collection, summarizing as it does a mere three albums, Warning, Power Play and Picture This, in a compressed period of time. The first two albums featured Cobham's no-name, fairly nondescript, electric working groups of the time, but the excerpts from the third contain some well-known gentlemen -- Grover Washington, Jr., Ron Carter, and ex-Weather Report-er Victor Bailey -- in the ranks. On these records, Cobham seems to keep his most prized asset an astonishing, physical, propulsive drum capability -- mostly bridled in at the service of highly structured, not very interesting electric compositions. The best stuff comes from Picture This; "Danse for Noh Masque" is indeed a diverting Japanese-flavored electronic masque, and the acoustic "You Within Me Within You" has some absorbing tenor work by Grover. As a whole, though, Billy's "best" as a leader here doesn't eclipse his true best work as a band member in the early days of jazz-rock.

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