Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Billy Cobham - 1981 "Stratus"

This is the companion disc to Flight Time, which was also recorded for the Inakustik label. While not quite as original as its predecessor, it is still highly recommended. A young Mike Stern had not completely developed his sound yet, but he's still unmistakable. Violinist Michal Urbaniak's presence gives Cobham classics like "Stratus," "AC/DC," and "Total Eclipse" a fresh sound. Here again, Cobham is more than willing to let his colleagues step to the forefront and offer up their unique ideas, some better than other (Gil Goldstein's "Wrapped in a Cloud" is enchanting while Landers' reggae offering, "All Hallows Eve," falls flat). The biggest disappointment here are the short song lengths, especially the early fadeout on "Brooze," but hearing Cobham and Stern together make this an essential recording for jazz-rock fans.

Track listing:
  1. Stratus (4:36)
  2. AC/DC (3:59)
  3. Kasia (4:08)
  4. All Hallow's Eve (3:17)
  5. Wrapped in a Cloud (6:26)
  6. Drum Solo (3:26)
  7. Total Eclipse (4:11)
  8. Brooze (3:52)

Billy Cobham
Percussion, Drums Gil Goldstein
Piano, Keyboards Tim Landers
Bass Mike Stern
Guitar Michal Urbaniak
Saxophone, Vocals, Lyricon, Violone, Electric Violin

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