Billy Cobham has some massive shoulders sitting at the bottom of a thick, muscular neck.  He has the build of a pro football linebacker … at least he does in many of the pictures I’ve seen of him.

Billy Kongsberg at Kongsberg Jazz Festival, 1974
Billy Cobham at Kongsberg Jazz Festival, 1974 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Maybe that’s what makes him one of the most powerful drummers in jazz-fusion.  His playing isn’t just strong.  It’s muscular.  It’s been that way in his playing with Miles Davis, The Mahavishnu Orchestra, his solo work.

He’s one of those drummers a band can be easily built around, and it’ll be rock-solid.  Just like his first solo album, “Spectrum,” in 1973, which featured the guitar playing of Tommy Bolin, who’d go on to play in the rock giant Deep Purple.

One Christmas a few years ago, when my youngest son was trying to take up the drums himself, I went looking for an instructional DVD of any one of my favorite drummers to give to him as a stocking stuffer.  I didn’t have much luck finding an instructional DVD, but I did end up giving my son a Billy Cobham DVD to use as “inspiration.”

“Spectrum” is considered by many fans to be his greatest solo work yet, but that doesn’t mean everything else has been sub-par.  Oh, no.  He’s only continued to flex his fusion muscles through the years.

Bless us all.


10 thoughts on “My music playlist for today (April 17, 2012 edition)

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