Sunday, 19 December 2010

Billy Cobham - The Traveler (1993)

01.Alfa Waves
02.All That Your Soul Provides
03.Balancing Act
04.What If?
05.Dippin' the Bisquites in the Soup
07.Just One Step Away
08.Mushi Creole Blues
09.On the Inside Track
10.Soul Provider.

Billy Cobham (drums, percussion)
Carol Rowley (vocals)
Gary Husband (keyboards, drums)
Joe Chindamo (keyboards)
Peter Wolpl (guitar)
Ira Coleman, Mike Mondesir (bass)
Nippy Noya (percussion).
Recorded at Real World Studios Box Mill, Bath, England in November 1993.

The overall feel of this recording is very similar to Incoming. Peter Wolpl remains on guitar, as does Nippy Noya on percussion. The pianist has been changed to Joe Chindamo; however, his style is similar to Rita Marcotulli's on Incoming. The music is very dense and cannot be listened to casually or infrequently if one wants to absorb the full impact of the recording. The underrated Wolpl provides an excellent acoustic guitar solo on "Alfa Waves." There are three vocal tracks here, which means a meager attempt at pop on a majority of contemporary jazz recordings. Fortunately, this is not the case here. Carole Rowley does a fine job of "jazz" singing and seems to be a cohesive part of the band, rather than a novelty. Cobham's mastery of rhythm (not technique) is evident on "Balancing Act." This is an aspect of his playing that is often overlooked due to his overwhelming power behind the traps. For fans just interested in that aspect of his playing, "On the Inside Track" features a mini-drum battle with drummer extraordinaire Gary Husband. As a whole, The Traveler is a very good recording and clearly shows Cobham's constant striving to grow as both a composer and musician. ~ Robert Taylor.
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