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In 2013, Cobham celebrated the 40th anniversary of the release of Spectrum CD by touring in USA, Canada and Europe with the Spectrum 40 Band. Also that year, Purple Pyramid Records released the Billy Cobham Compass Point two-CD set, recorded live at Compass Point hotel in the Bahamas in 1997, which was never released before.
Early 2014 marks the release of the much-anticipated "Tales from the Skeleton Coast", which is the third instalment of the four recordings produced as a commemoration and celebration of Cobham's mother and father, both of whom were musicians.
This year, Cobham continues to develop his ingenious Extended Works series, a trailblazing musician exploration that will take shape in collaboration with local jazz orchestras around the world. This performance series will bring his critically acclaimed, widely appreciated material to the orchestral jazz stage, sharing his vast musical history with diverse audiences globally.
In the summer of 2014, Cobham will release a live CD recording from last years' celebrated Spectrum 40 tours, which dazzled audiences around the world in commemoration of the 40th anniversary of Spectrum CD, the defining album of the jazz-fusion genre. Full Bio
Ever since his breakthrough in the early 1970s-as a founding member of the Mahavishnu Orchestra, and as a drummer/leader whose recordings (such as Spectrum) and powerful, complex style of play exerted a strong influence on the course of jazz and jazz-fusion-Billy Cobham has remained a tireless musical explorer.
Panamanian by birth, a New Yorker by upbringing, and a resident of Switzerland for more than 25 years, Cobham has pursued an ever-broadening, ever-deepening engagement with the world not only as a master drummer and percussionist but as a composer, producer, educator, and clinician who gives service through music even as he constantly expands his personal creative expression.
Cobham's newest recording, Fruit from the Loom-released in April 2008 through his own imprint, Creative MultiMedia Concepts, Inc. (CMMC)-is a suitably wide-ranging representation of his roots and his journeys. He reprises two of his best-known compositions from the '70s, "Spectrum" and "Crosswinds," by incorporating violin on the former and steel pan on the latter. "I've always found it difficult to focus upon one direction in music," Cobham notes, "so I've resigned myself to projecting ideas and thoughts through a musical kaleidoscope, from Latin to rock and jazz. This version of 'Spectrum' is a testament to that idea."
On the new CD, he also utilizes a string quartet (on "Faia") and percussion ensembles-with Cobham himself playing all the parts on "Samba du Militairestrasse" and Nigerian friends joining him on "Thoughts from Okuta." Experiences from travels in Brazil are captured in "Eggshells Still on My Head" and "Florianapolis," while the Bocas del Toro islands off the eastern coast of Panama-which Cobham describes as a place where "it is easy for me to relax and generally mellow out"-inspire the buoyant "Sweet Bocas."
Fruit from the Loom, dedicated to the memory of Cobham's parents William and Ivy, features support from longtime colleagues including organist Brian Auger, bassists Victor Bailey and Stefan Rademacher, saxophonist Ernie Watts, guitarists Dean Brown and Jean-Marie Ecay, and, on steel pan, Junior Gill.
And as with any artistic endeavor, the personal becomes the universal, and Billy Cobham's most recent musical journey-back to his beginnings-will be shared and savored by his listeners around the world.