The iconic drummer Billy Cobham and his band perform at an exclusive show at the Mauch Chunk Opera House here in Jim Thorpe on Friday, October 8. The Opera House will be one of only two East Coast venues the band will visit in 2010.
I first witnessed the spectacle of Mr. Cobham’s playing in 1973, when I saw him with the Mahavishnu Orchestra, the jazz-fusion supergroup also featuring John McGlaughlin (guitars), Jan Hammer (keys), Jerry Goodman (violin) and Rick Laird (bass) in New York’s Central Park.
I had never seen such instrumental virtuosity and sheer power, and haven’t seen anything to match it since. That concert later became their live album, Between Nothingness and Eternity.
After Mahavishnu, Cobham released the seminal fusion albums Spectrum and Crosswinds along with many others. He performed with groups like Bobby and the Midnights (Bob Weir), Jack Bruce and Friends, Carlos Santana, and jazz greats like Stanley Clarke, McCoy Tyner, George Duke, Larry Coryell, and of course, Miles Davis.
Cobham visited Jim Thorpe in 2008 with his Spectrum Band, Victor Bailey (bass – Weather Report), Tom Coster (keys – Santana) and Dean Brown (guitars – David Sanborn). We even squeezed in a very cool interview at WRTI in Philadelphia.
That night the Opera House audience spontaneously shouted and whooped in amazement at Cobham and everyone in the band. John Ernesto, director of the Reading Jazz Festival, very aptly described the show as a musical storm surge.
So now, Mr. Cobham returns in October with a new band selected from the best talent in England, France and Brazil – jazz, fusion, and world music rolled into one.
Accompanied by Jean-Marie Ecay – guitar, Fifi Chayeb – bass, Junior Gill – steel pan, Christophe Cravero – keyboard/violin, Camelia Ben Naceur – keyboards, Cobham will be performing favorites like Stratus and Crosswinds along with selections from his new album, Palindrome.
All seats are excellent at the Opera House. A chance to experience a truly legendary musician and his band don’t come around very often, and the Mauch Chunk Opera House is no ordinary place to experience it.
Call 570-325-0249 for tickets or reserve your seats online.