Review of SPECTRUM from CRAWDADDY , Jaunary 1974

I spent that much time on THE COUNTS because you already know what the Mahavishnu Orchestra sounds like and that’s close enough to SPECTRUM to spare you a lot of words. But hold it, remember that jazz-rock fusion I was mentioning earlier ? Well this is the first time it works and this is the crucial difference between the Orchestra and Billy Cobham’s SPECTRUM. First of all, Billy is once-again completely surrounded by white sidemen, and the intensity of the music is much like that of McLaughlin . Here the difference ends; Cobham is , here we go, much funkier [wish there were another word I could use for comparison]. I mean this stuff really has an incredible beat, it’ll put you on your ass the way the Stones once did. The musicianship , however is so much higher than any rock band, even Deodato’s, and there is so much jazz technique in most of the playing , that if they had vocals SPECTRUM would be the best rock band in the world.Pick up on Tommy Bolin’s guitar and Lee Sklar’s bass pinned down by Cobham’s relentless drumming, and Jan Hammer’s sputtering keyboard. It’s simply the best stuff I’ve heard in ages.


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