Since his breakthrough in the early 1970s as a founding member of the Mahavishnu Orchestra and as a drummer/leader, Billy Cobham has always remained the tireless musical explorer and researcher that he was. With his powerful and complex drumming, he has had an enormous influence on the development of the jazz and fusion jazz scene, as can be heard, for example, on his number one album Spectrum. His level of playing is evident, among other things, on the double bass drum - a technique he masters like no other. But Billy Cobham far more than a terrific drummer and percussionist. He has also made a name for himself as a composer and producer.
His biography illustrates his international career: Billy Cobham was born in Colón (Panama) on May 16, 1944. In the winter of '47, his family moved to the United States, where they lived first in Harlem, and later in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn. "Music was all-encompassing," Cobham recalls. "At first, either folk Latin music or 'tipico,' as they called it in Panama, or jazz." Cobham, whose first paid gig was at age 8 as a favor to his father, gained his first experience as a drummer by being a member of St. Catherine's Queensmen, a drum and bugle group in St. Albans, Queens. He then studied at New York's infamous High School of Music and Art, where he studied music theory and drum techniques alongside arguably some of today's greatest music legends, such as trumpeter Jimmy Owens, bassist Eddie Gomez and pianist Larry Willis.
At the time, "jazz was a rather 'forbidden realm' for students, whereas classical music was favored by the educational establishment. And so, naturally, students were licking their fingers to get in touch with jazz artists, whether it was the opportunity through meeting them during lectures or through listening to LONGPLAY records they were studying and then possibly playing after." Born in Panama and raised in New York, residing in Switzerland for more than 25 years, Cobham's international experiences have allowed him to cross borders not only as a master drummer and percussionist, but also as a composer, producer and music educator, incorporating into his own creative expression the experiences he has gained around the world.
Billy Cobham's latest album " Tales from the Skeleton Coast" is the third release in memory and honor of his parents. In his own words, Billy Cobham describes his new album: " "Tales from the Skeleton Coast" fundamentally reflects formative experiences with my parents. Memories that have left a deep impression on the heart and mind. Likewise, on this album I treat impressions from my tours of a region formerly known as Southwest Africa, now Namibia. The images of the Skeleton Coast still burn in me and by extension in my music, which I created as a sonic reflection of that time."
Note: This text was translated by machine translation software and not by a human translator. It may contain translation errors.