Billy Cobham & George Duke Band – Live On Tour In Europe (1976)

FrontCover1.jpgThis isn’t a masterpiece of jazz rock fusion by any means, but it is tasty. Billy Cobham and George Duke, along with guitarist John Scofield and bassist Alfonso Johnson server up a generous slice of seventies fusion, without too much of that disco flavor that was beginning to permeate the genre at the time.

Duke, fresh out of Frank Zappa’s band, gets to show off his twisted sense of humor on Space Lady, which harkens back to some of the improv work he did with Frank, but remains a throwaway piece. Johnson’s Almustafa The Beloved, a vocal piece, reminds me a bit of Stanley Clarke’s early compositions, albeit without the impossibly fast bass licks.

Disco does rear it’s ugly head on Duke’s Do What Cha Wanna. But it is tolerable disco, until that nasty string synth comes in during the break.

Okay, he’s got that out of his system. Now back to fusion. Frankenstein Goes To The Disco is a drum solo piece, featuring Cobham with some nice drum synth triggers (far more advanced than Carl Palmer’s just a few short years earlier).

Johnson plays a nice, but not mind blowing solo on the Chick Corea-like Sweet Wine. And the album closes appropriately with Juicy, where each band member in turn gets to shine.

Not an essential fusion album, but not a bad addition. (by Evolver)

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Following two studio recordings, this impressive band hit the road and cut this session with keyboardist George Duke. Their encounter provided for an uneven, but infectious, recording. “Hip Pockets,” composed by Cobham, and “Ivory Tattoo,” composed by Scofield, begin the session with some intense playing. Things get a bit goofy with “Space Lady” (a song which probably worked better live), and a bit melodramatic with “Almustafa the Beloved.” “Do What Cha Wanna” features Duke on vocals and, ironically, made it onto Cobham’s Best of Billy Cobham. The closer, “Frankenstein Goes to the Disco,” is primarily a vehicle for Cobham, while “Sweet Wine” and “Juicy” are good jam sessions. Despite some corny moments, this is a fun session that continues to be one of Cobham’s most sought after recordings. (by Robert Taylor)

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Personnel:
Billy Cobham (drums, drum synthesizer, background vocals)
George Duke (keyboards, vocals)
Alphonso Johnson (bass, chapman stick, vocals)
John Scofield (guitar)
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Jon Lucien (narrator on 04.)

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Tracklist:
01. Hip Pockets (Cobham) 7.10
02. Ivory Tattoo (Scofield) 4.36
03. Space Lady (Duke) 4.37
04. Almustafa The Beloved (Johnson) 6.52
05. Do What Cha Wanna (Duke) 4.35
06. Frankenstein Goes To The Disco (Cobham) 7.10
07. Sweet Wine (Cobham) 4.00
08. Juicy (Duke) 7.20

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A chapman stick

Tony Williams All Stars – Live Under The Sky (1992)

FrontCover1In the spring of 1975, Williams put together a quartet he called The New Tony Williams Lifetime featuring bassist Tony Newton, pianist Alan Pasqua, and guitarist Allan Holdsworth.[3] This lineup recorded two albums for Columbia/CBS Records, Believe It in 1975 and Million Dollar Legs in 1976. These albums were reissued on one CD in 1992 as Lifetime: The Collection. After recording Million Dollar Legs, guitarist Allan Holdsworth departed and was replaced by Marlon Graves for the subsequent tour undertaken to support the album.

In 1977, Williams parted ways with Graves, Pasqua, and Newton and formed another TonyWilliamsLifetime lineup with entirely new personnel consisting of Mike Hoffmann (lead guitar), Gerry Mule (2nd guitar), Paul Potyen (keyboards), and Michael Formanek (bass). This lineup recorded demos for the Columbia label but had no official releases and played a small number of live gigs performing material from “Ego” and the two New Lifetime albums “Believe It” and “Million Dollar Legs.”

In July 1978 Williams toured Japan with Ronnie Montrose (guitar), Brian Auger (keyboards), Mario Cipollina (bass) and special guest Billy Cobham also on drums for a series of concerts. They were billed as the Tony Williams All Stars. Later that year he released The Joy of Flying, an eclectic solo album featuring a mix of styles and collaborations with Herbie Hancock, Cecil Taylor, Tom Scott, Stanley Clarke, Michael Brecker, George Benson, and Jan Hammer. It also contains “Open Fire” recorded by the All Stars earlier that year. (by wikipedia)

And this is a bootleg from this Japan tour in July 1978 released by the famous Oh Boy ! Label from Luxembourg in 1992.

Perfect fusion-jazz from this decade !

Recorded live at Den-en Coliseum, Tokyo, Japan, July 27, 1978

BackCover1Personnel:
Brian Auger (keyboards)
Mario Cipollina (bass)
Ronnie Montrose (guitar)
Tony Williams (drums)
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Billy Cobham (drums on 07.)

Booklet1Tracklist:
01. Red Alert (Newton) 6.29
02. Going Far (Hammer)
03. Wild Life (Williams) 11.11
04. There Comes A Time (Williams) 6.45
05. One Word (McLaughlin) 4.18
06. Drums Solo (Williams) 10.27
07. Drum Duet With Billy Cobham/Finale (unknown) 25.19

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AlternateFront+BackCoverAlternate front+back covers with a different tracklist