BILLY COBHAM/SPECTRUM REVIEW by D-SLAM (Don...


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Posted by Cricket on 04/02/02 - 22:36:31
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on the Billy Cobham message board)... He did such a great job with this, I asked his permission to post it here:
                                                   

  BOOOOMMMM!!!! (modified 0 times)
                                                                                         D-Slam

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  BOOOOOOOMMMM!!!!


  Okay everyone here’s my report on the Spectrum show, 3/31/02 8:00pm.

  THE VENUE: I see why so many of the great artists are ranting and raving
  about Yoshi’s. It’s a very Classy, intimate setting that’s not too small, not
  too big. It seats about 300 people and the acoustics are to die for. You could
  hear a pin drop between the notes. Yet, the sound was lively and open and
  not cut off by an overly soundproofed room. This is also a testament to the
  fine sound system and soundperson they had… Great place to see a concert.

  THE PLAYERS: Let’s start with GARY HUSBAND on keyboards. It’s been
  almost ten years since I’ve seen him play, which was also with Billy. Back then
  I thought he was very good, but I’ve always believed he was a better
  drummer than keyboard player. Well, unless Gary’s drumming has
  DRAMATICALLY improved, I’m not so sure about that anymore… He was
  simply SMOKIN’. His solos, his chords, the way he accompanied the rest of
  the band were nothing short of inspirational. He was having a ton of fun up
  there, squinting and contorting his face, bending over the keyboards. Gary
  was a ball to watch, an extremely multi-talented individual.

  If there was ever a bass player to have in a clutch and who would make
  everything all right, LELAND SKLAR is your man. He is “Rock Of Gibraltar”
  solid. To me, he was the glue that held everything together. Those churning,
  plotting and consistent bass lines made everything work and allowed
  everyone else to freely do their thing. His tone was beautiful and crystal clear
  and his presence was beefy and strong. You can tell when he starts to get
  into the music. He starts hunching his shoulders up and down and at times it
  looks like he’s talking to himself. But in actuality, he’s sort of singing along
  with the tune. His demeanor is very soft. If not for that fabulous beard,
  visually he would kind of get lost among the other players. My only regret
  concerning Leland was there was no bass solo. And judging by the way he
  played. I doubt it was because of lack of ability. Much of those bass lines were
  VERY intricate.

  You want animation? You want show? Keep your eyes on DEAN BROWN. He
  dances, he jumps and he shakes all over the stage while ripping off some
  throat cutting guitar solos and some down right funky rhythms. This man
  REALLY gets into it and is just plain fun to watch. Again, his solos were
  nothing short of throat cutting. His rhythm style gave me a strong sense of
  security. It’s like if you have a weak bass player, Dean would be the guy to
  play off of for that solidarity. And His antics on stage would give James brown
  a run for his money. His tone was Bahamas beach clear and his ability to go
  from a raw, rock edge sound to a jazzy Benson mode was effortless. I truly
  understand why Billy uses him so much.

  Hey guys, what am I suppose to say? BILLY COBHAM. This night he was
  laying down the fattest grooves I’ve ever heard him lay… That snare drum,
  POW, POW, POW. The drive, the power was rock solid. And the drums looked
  and sounded OH SO SWEET! The pictures on the website do not do these
  Yamaha’s justice. This is an absolutely gorgeous set of drums. Billy played
  this inverted bass drum (18” or 20”) on his left side that he played like a large
  floor tom. His bass drums looked very deep, eighteen or twenty inches. One
  of the bass drums seemed to be tuned very big (or maybe a trigger) while
  the other had a more punchy sound. The whole kit sounded awesome but it
  certainly didn’t overshadow Billy’s playing. Speed, Power, feel and finesse.
  That was vintage Billy all night long. The drum solos were staggering. The
  dynamics were mind-boggling. At one point during the show, he did this
  drum roll with his feet. It was the same one he did in the song “Hip Pockets”.
  Remember that? This brought the house down. While watching Billy play, I
  came to the realization that you don’t get this good from practice. This level
  of ability comes with living and playing in the real world. I sort of got the
  impression that he was speaking the experiences of life through the drum set
  and the music. You don’t learn that kind of language sitting behind a drum kit
  in your garage. Whenever I see Billy play, I always think of the song “taking
  care of Business, working over time”. He comes out on stage, sits down and
  takes care of business in that vintage BC fashion. He takes what he does
  Very seriously, I can see that by merely watching him play. The wheels are
  always turning and he never ceases to surprise you with something new. Billy
  Cobham is a hard, hard working artist and a man on the move no doubt…
  Killer!

  THE MUSIC: This is “SPECTRUM”. But this is Spectrum with new twists and
  turns. The music and the arrangements were amazing. Everybody was
  reading charts on stage. There was some really sick stuff going on up there
  (“sick” = Intricate) and these guys were working it. As expected there were
  some ruff spots and some minor mistakes but considering the arrangements
  on these tunes with only one-week of rehearsal, everyone did a fabulous job.
  One or two more shows, and the band should be in full swing. So by the time
  the show gets to you all, it will be better than the one I witnessed. Remember
  that I attended the tour’s debut. They did other songs besides what was on
  the Spectrum album. I won’t say what they were as to keep the suspense
  high. They did some never before heard tunes that were smokin’ also…
  Dynamically intense! I must say though, I was a tad disappointed that what I
  as well as many others consider the signature song of Spectrum, was not
  performed. (I’m sure you all know what that song is without me saying it) It’s
  not like they could not have done it, why they chose not to I don’t know.

  THE LOBBY: After the show, Billy and company came out to the lobby to
  speak to fans and sign autographs. If there were egos walking around, none
  of them belonged to anyone from the band. They were the nicest group and
  everyone seemed eagerly accommodating. Artski is a colorful character and a
  genuine nice man. When I went up and introduced myself as “D-Slam”, his
  response was, “Don! Hey how ya doin? Is Art Padilla here?” He actually
  remembered our names. He also asked for Woody but remembered he lived
  in Philly. Billy was happy to see me. He said, “ I was wondering where you
  were! I couldn’t remember if it was Oakland or someplace else.” After
  introducing him to my wife, I told him not to wait another ten years before
  returning to the states and he told me that he’d be doing a clinic in San
  Mateo in May, which is about 35 minutes up the peninsula from where I live.
  We didn’t talk about the gyro-twister, there were just too many people in the
  lobby waiting to talk to him. Dean Brown is a real sweetheart and gave me a
  lot of his time. I bought his CD “Here” while I was there.

  All in all it was a fantastic evening, one I will never forget… Pete, the show is
  well worth the trip. If you can swing it, you shouldn’t miss this…

  Enjoy!

  Highs: EVERYTHING!
  Lows: NO PICTURES OF ANY KIND WERE ALLOWED
  THEY DIDN’T PLAY “THE SIGNATURE SONG”

  Don. (Whew!)

  "Give The Drummer Some"

04-01-2002 06:02:40 P.M.





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