Drummer Billy Cobham brings his thundering band Crosswinds to Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley
Billy Cobham always carries thunder in his drumsticks. The 78-year-old jazz fusion-era legend presented his Crosswinds project at Seattle’s Jazz Alley, in honor of the drummer’s landmark 1974 album. Crosswinds. During an exclusive session for KNKX, Cobham showed he can command a storm and also a romance with a gentle breeze.
Leading a quartet with guitarist Mark Whitfield, bassist Tim Landers and keyboardist Scott Tibbs through three of his classic compositions, the veteran drummer lit a rhythmic fire under his bandmates. Landers’ steady hand and Whitfield and Tibbs’ expressive playing were enthralling, but every song found Cobham’s drumming never out of the spotlight.
Cobham was generous with his time, spending nearly half an hour talking with KNKX jazz host Abe Beeson about his long and impressive career. He spoke fondly of his youth in New York and his time playing jazz in the military in the late 60s. Cobham shared his surprise at first hearing about his debut album Spectrum went to number one on the charts in 1973 and spoke about the development of hard rock jazz fusion drumming.
There is also humility. When asked if he felt like a big influence on drummers from jazz to progressive rock, Cobham called himself “a student of the art who shares ideas”. KNKX is proud to share some fascinating insights from its Crosswinds project at Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley.
2) The Pleasant Pheasant
3) On the go