I stumbled across a copy of this album, ‘Simplicity of Expression, Depth of Thought’ over the weekend. It dates from 1978. I first became aware of Billy Cobham via a love for the guitar playing of Tommy Bolin; ‘Spectrum’ featured Tommy on some tracks, notably ‘Stratus’ (subsequently performed by Jeff Beck). Recorded in 1973, ‘Spectrum had quite a hard edge to its sound and was played at blistering pace. ‘Simplicity…’ is still jazz fusion, but has a softer, maybe more latin feel to it. It even has vocals on a few tracks, smooth, inoffensive and blending with the music rather than to the forefront. One track even incorporates the use of a drum machine – a real sign that the ’80s were coming! It’s a nice album.
I was fortunate to see Billy Cobham play with Asere at Womad in 2008 and he was a real privilege to watch, clearly still enjoying performing.