After a string of successful solo efforts, Cobham began to slip into mediocrity beginning with this recording, originally released in 1975. While elements of funk were always a part of his band's sound, it was now the primary focus. "Panhandler" stands out as the sessions most memorable composition, while Milcho Leviev contributes nicely on "Moody Modes." Cobham fans will want to seek this out for the extended drum solo "A Funky Kind of Thing," which stands as one of his most original drum solos he ever recorded. Of particular interest here is the presence of John Scofield, who had replaced John Abercrombie. Not up to the standards of its predecessors, but a worthy purchase, especially with the reissue on CD.
All Music Guide
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Billy Cobham recorded his first album as a leader for Atlantic in 1973; this disc, from which "Stratus" was later sampled by Massive Attack, secured his place in the Pantheon of polyrhythms.
Yet this had not been his first attempt From 1969, he worked with Randy and Michael Brecker, with whom he had formed the group Dream after leaving Horace Silver's quintet James Brown, Kenny Burrell, Esther Phillips and Miles Davis were asking for him. At the same time, he went on with his intensive work in the studio where he collaborated on the film scores and series... "Shaft" by Isaac Hayes, "Mission Impossible" by Lalo Schifrin, and many more.
His joining the Mahavishnu Orchestra introduced him to a wider audience and naturally led him to embark on a solo career with Atlantic.
Recorded in one go and without over-dub in 1975, this album gave Billy Cobham the opportunity to renew his collaboration with the Brecker Brothers and to give John Scofield his first start at recording. Only one slogan appears for the eight passages which make up this album, "have fun" or is it rather "have funk"? The mood of the detective films of the beginning of the seventies is not far away, with Billy Cobham its powerful metronome. At any time we might expect to see David Soul, Paul Michael Glaser and Antonio Fargas appear suddenly at the wheel of their Torino Ford and Lieutenant Harry Cailahan standing on a corner. Except maybe in the last selection, "Moody Modes"; a wonderful Latin meditation on cymbals and trumpet.
- Vincent Merger