Billy Cobham: 'Anteres' the Star


'Anteres' the Star


Billy Cobham (drums)


Magic (Columbia 492526 2)

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Billy Cobham (drums), Alvin Batiste (clarinet),

Mark Soskin (keyboards), Pete Mauna (guitar), Randy Jackson (bass), Pete Escovedo (timbales), Sheila Escovedo (congas)


Composed by Billy Cobham


Recorded: New York, released 1977


Rating: 87/100 (learn more)

Billy Cobham didn't leave all of his composing skills behind him on his two all-time best albums Spectrum and Crosswinds. His 1977 album Magic is an unfocused work to be sure. But there are a few pieces that do indeed capture the magic.

"'Anteres' the Star" sounds like some futuristic game-show theme. But it is a game show I would watch. Bassist Randy Jackson does a little bass intro similar to something you may hear on one of those old Chuck Mangione jazz-pop numbers. This does not bode well. Luckily the tune then diverges from the expected. The opening melody is good fun, really. But we get to the meat of the matter when the band finally kicks in. Cobham's drumming is compelling as always, and Jackson, Mark Soskin, Pete Mauna and the famous percussionists the Escovedos all have the groove down. But the star of the show is Alvin Batiste. He uses his clarinet to dice and chop Cobham's melody in a way that would make Ron Popeil proud. This section of the song is straight-ahead jazz and reminiscent of some of the aforementioned Crosswinds. It is good music. The game show theme returns as the credits roll.

TV Trivia: The very able bassist on this cut is the same Randy Jackson who would later become famous as one of the celebrity judges on American Idol. A show, by the way, I am proud to say I have never watched a minute of.

Reviewer: Walter Kolosky

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