fusion drummer Billy Cobham. The album was released in 1974. It comprises four songs, all composed by Billy Cobham. It was used as the basis for the Souls of Mischief's hit song "93 'til Infinity". Wiki
second date as a leader was one of his better sessions. Four songs (all
originals by the leader/drummer) comprise "Spanish Moss -- A Sound
Portrait," and, in addition, Cobham contributed three other pieces. The selections team him with guitarist John Abercrombie, both of the Brecker Brothers, trombonist Garnett Brown, keyboardist George Duke, bassist John Williams, and Latin percussionist Lee Pastora. In general, the melodies and the vamps are reasonably memorable. Cobham also takes an unaccompanied drum solo on "Storm." Worth searching for by fusion collectors. All Music
Billy Cobham made this album at a pivotal point. The original
Mahavishnu Orchestra had disbanded, John McLaughlin was wallowing, and
jazz purists were beginning to complain about the rock influence. Billy
helped show a new direction. Crosswinds opening suite has lush and
sophisticated horn arrangments, soothing a subtly intense rhythm. The
effect is like night, tropical breezes, just as he wants to convey. You
can almost hear the ocean, the music of the wild Caribbean (no steel
drums of course, just cool). The rest of the album alternates between
hot and cool, with some funky fusion and a beautiful extended piece,
Heathers, near the end, featuring a trombone solo that sounds like the
soundtrack to a loving and relaxing dream. The album is inspired, Billy
at his creative best, showing the jazz world a new dimension that
fusion had not shown before. At 35 minutes it is a little short, but we
have quality here, not quantity. This album belongs in any jazz or
fusion collection. By
D. M. Paine
"Crosswinds" has been in my vinyl collection since 1974, when I first
picked up a copy at King Karol Records on 42nd Street in Manhattan.
Well, I recently became reacquainted with this recording after picking
up a CD copy at a "oh so trendy" record store in Haight-Ashburry, San
Francisco. As I did then, I played the new CD over and over again,
completely enraptured by Cobham's "Ripley's Believe or Not" staccatto
drumming and Lee Pastora's smoking Latin percussion. Joined by the
Brecker Brothers, George Duke, John Abercrombie, Alex Blake, John
Williams, Garnett Brown and other great luminaries of early jazz fusion,
Cobham and his willing partners beat and shape a veritable masterpiece.
Drive along Big Sur and take in the vast and dramatic California skies
and scarred bluffs and you'll begin to undertand what hues of emotions
this exquisite recording conjures. Crosswinds alternates between
adrenaline musical rushes and absolute sublime chill, creating a
perfectly balanced sinuous stream of sound. Simply exquisite!
I got this album as a gift in 1974 when I was 19 years old. My
unsuspecting sister had heard the name Billy Cobham, but did not realize
what a masterpiece she had placed in my hands. Although a virtuoso
drummer with monstrous chops, Billy doesn't let his virtuosity run away
with him. Although those looking for impressive drumming will not be
disapointed. His use of time on the the Crosswinds suite, his climactic
"Storm" solo the driving end movement will satisfy drummers,
air-drummers and percussion fans. This album exhibits Billy Cobham,
composer and arranger. With a dark hues on his palette and a wide
brush, Billy paints us quite a seascape. The "Pleasant Pheasant",one of
my favorites, is energetic, driving, exciting and just a little bit
funky. This features an exceptional and rhythmic drum solo. "Heather",
what can I say about "Heather", hypnotic, seductive, well paced. It
starts as a whisper of a siren's song and builds to what to date might
be one of Michael Breckers most beautiful and haunting solos. This one
is for the headphones, folks. "Heather" is worth the price of this
recording alone. A stellar cast of musicians on this album work in
concert and in symbiosis to produce one of the underated recordings in
the "fusion" era. No pyrothechnics for it's own sake here. Impressive
solo's abound within the context of the pieces. John Abercrombie,
Michael Brecker, Randy Brecker, Garnett Brown, Lee Pastora ...etc., a
dream team of musicians. This album should never have been gone this
long from the CD shelves/racks/bins of music outlets. Few of Billy's
recording measure up to this one in my opinion.
Spanish Moss - "A Sound Portrait":
1. a. Spanish Moss (4:11)
2. b. Savannah the Serene (5:14)
3. c. Storm (2:52)
4. d. Flash Flood (5:08)
5. Pleasant Pheasant (5:21)
6. Heather (8:40)
7. Crosswind (3:42)
Total Running Time: (35:08)
Line-up / Musicians
-Billy Cobham/ drums, percussion.
- John Williams/ guitar (acoustic), bass (acoustic), bass (electric).
- Randy Brecker/ trumpet.
- Garnett Brown/ trombone.
- John Abercrombie/ guitars.
- George Duke/ keyboards, vocals.
- Lee Pastora / percussions