Billy Cobham – The Art Of Four

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“With 2004’s Art of Five, the fusion drums pioneer Billy Cobham indicated that his mid-life return to his bebop roots was a hot ticket. And this album proves to be another, with a fizzing Cobham driving a pedigree postbop band featuring alto saxist Donald Harrison, short-lived pianist James Williams (on one of his last recordings) and the bass legend Ron Carter. Most of the material here is original, and the improvisation is often scorching – Williams’ jubilant sweep across bop, modalism and Cecil Taylorish abstraction in particular. Good for the Soul and Cissy Strut have a heated Art Blakey atmosphere. Harrison and Williams play solos of such fresh phrasing that they almost seem to reinvent the postbop language, and a fast The Song Is You has Harrison in biting Jackie McLean mode over fiery drumming. Carter’s Last Resort is like a sardonic Stan Tracey piece, and Williams’ Four Play is a rugged, Breckerish tour de force of fast blues. It’s four stars for the blowing quality alone.” – John Fordham/The Guardian.

Track listing:

1. Good for the Soul

2. New Waltz

3. Alter Ego

4. The Song Is You

5. Last Resort

6. If I Were a Bell

7. Four Play

8. Cissy Strut

9. Mushu Blues.

Tracks 2, 4, 6 & 8 recorded live during the 2001 summer tour. All other tracks recorded live at Studio Paudeze II.


Donald Harrison – alto saxophone
Ron Carter – bass
Billy Cobham – drums
James Williams – piano


Label: In+Out Records – IOR CD 77085-2
Series: The Art Of Jazz Series – 4
Format: CD, Album
Country: Germany
Released: October 30, 2006
Recorded: 2001
Recording Location: Studio Paudeze II