Billy Cobham: Spanish Moss - A Sound Portrait: Spanish Moss


Spanish Moss - A Sound Portrait: Spanish Moss


Billy Cobham (drums, percussion)


Crosswinds (Atlantic 7300)

Buy Track


Billy Cobham (drums, percussion), Michael Brecker (reeds),

Randy Brecker (trumpet), Garnett Brown (trombone), George Duke (keyboards), John Abercrombie (guitar), John Williams (bass), Lee Pastora (Latin Percussion)


Composed by Billy Cobham


Recorded: New York. early 1974


Rating: 97/100 (learn more)

"Spanish Moss" appeared as Part 1 of a suite on Crosswinds and is extracted from that arrangement for singular review here. The weird thing about Spanish moss is that it is not a moss at all. It is actually a very beautiful flowering plant that hangs from trees. It is very common in the humid southeastern United States and spreads far and wide to such places as Argentina. What importance this had to Billy Cobham in naming this tune is unknown to me. But there may be a clue or two in the music.

We first hear the winds of an imminent thunderstorm. Shortly thereafter, a mission bell is heard in the distance. There are other sounds, lost in the wind, beckoning us to a sanctuary. We arrive at a Spanish mission surrounded by southern live oaks draped in Spanish moss. We are greeted with open arms and invited inside. We are fed. We drink. We then relax to the strains of quasi-Latin music.

There is nothing too heavy here. There is no pyrotechnic showboating from Cobham, Duke or the Brecker Brothers. It is just good melodic music with 90% of its root system buried in jazz ground. Strangely, Spanish moss has no root system. But I am still sticking with my metaphors.

Reviewer: Walter Kolosky

Tags: · · ·

Comments are closed.