At some point I am going to redesign or slightly modify Cobb to take into consideration the two or three latest Epicurean interests, music, coding and reading. The reading thing is mostly done, but I hope to get something in Google plus that can make for instant book clubs. After all, I'm really only interested in what I'm reading now.
But this week I'm in a listening mood and am experiencing music in a magical way in the spirit of both Recovery and Discovery, thanks to the attorneys over at Spotify who have managed to get the music I know into the hands of programmers who can finally do the right thing we have been waiting for since the dawn of Napster.
My first musical surprise came as I was listening to Billy Cobham. Now Cobham, if you don't know, is a jazz drummer who would be something of a star if it weren't for the superstars of fusion. He's at one remove, in my way of thinking, from Lenny White, but still better from my point of view than Alphonse Mouzon. I first encountered Cobham when I was about 19 or 20 and trying to get my first grip on jazz as a more serious listener. At the very same time, I was sucked into the vortex of Stanley Clarke. But Cobham had an album out there in collaboration with several other musicians I did not know called Alivemotherforya. And I did play "Anteres" to death on my newly purchased Walkman. So I'm looking for that album last night and I come across his top hits according to Spotify. First cut, meh. Second cut 'Red Baron', holy heart murmer. It's 'Words of Advice' from my favorite album of all time. Stunning.
I leave it on the Cobham channel and now and then I get music that pulls me away from the work I'm doing. I listen to a lot of music while I write or code or eat or clean up my room or drive, and only rarely is it so dense and beautiful that I simply must pay attention. Now I have some Billy Cobham, an artist who is hard to know.
I should say as well, that I was in the mode to chase down some Mahavishnu stuff. Just previously, on Thursday as a matter of fact, I found multiple versions of 'No Mystery' which is becoming my favorite song from RTF, even though nothing will ever replace 'Romantic Warrior'. And as usual, 'Birds of Fire' does almost nothing for me. So I'm thinking that there's a trend here. There is no doubt that if I look up Bobby McFerrin, the number one hit will be 'Dont Worry, Be Happy' which is about as unrepresentative of his work as possible. But let's forget Mahavishnu's orbit for a moment so I can give some due to Bobby. (Except to note the fusion connection with Chick Corea)
First of all, check out this video and understand the spirit of the man. If you did watch the entire thing, that's actually enough to give you a clue as to what his music is like these days. You'll hardly make a better musical investment than listening to Beyond Words, his breakthrough album of 2002 which completely blew my mind.
For Christmas, I got *the* boxed set of Ella Fitzgerald live in LA back in 65 I think it was. Stunning performances. I wore out 77 tracks in a month and a half. Gotta bring that up again...