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Reviewers: Don Mather, Dick Stafford, Marc Bridle, John Eyles, Ian Lace, Colin Clarke

Billy Cobham’s
Glass Menagerie

  1. Moon Germs
  2. A.L.D.L.
  3. Flight Time
  4. Vanessa
  5. Crosswind
  6. All Hallows Eve
  7. Total Eclipse
  8. Mendocino
  9. Wrapped in a Cloud
  10. Brooze

Billy Cobham – drums
Michal Urbaniak – Violin & Sax
Mike Stern – Guitar
Gil Goldstein - Piano
Tim Landers – Bass
Recorded live at Riazzino, Switzerland in March 1981

Billy Cobham first came to the notice of the jazz public in the Horace Silver Band, since that time he has been a leader in the jazz fusion movement, but has not missed the point like many of his contemporaries.

I would like to sing the praises of TDK on this occasion, the disk includes adequate sleeve notes and contains biographies of the artists. It is also an excellent album musically, Glass Menagerie took improvisation on to a new level and whilst they were into fusion, they never let the other influences take anything away from the jazz. Billy Cobham’s drumming can only be described as sensational; he is up there with the very best. This is also true of the rest of the band members and even more so of the collective sound that they make. Michal Urbaniak makes the Lyricon, a kind of wind synthesiser, sound like an instrument suited to the jazz performance. Most other people who play it sound like a cross between a Kazoo and Comb and Paper!

Most of the tracks have exciting chase choruses with several instruments involved, it adds greatly to the excitement of the performance. Billy’s drum solo at the start of track 2 is outstanding, but then so is all his work on the session. The understanding and feel shown by the band when it operates as a unit is particularly impressive.

I recommend this album, it needs to be heard more than once to fully grasp all that is going on, but it is well worth the effort.

Don Mather

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