Billy Cobham: Taurian Matador (revised)
Taurian Matador (revised)
Billy Cobham (percussion)
Shabazz (Wounded Bird WOU 8139)
Glen Ferris (trombone), Milcho Leviev (keyboards), Alex Blake (bass).
Composed by Billy Cobham.
Recorded: live in Montreux, Switzerland, 1974
Rating: 88/100 (learn more)
"Taurian Matador" famously first appeared on Cobham's legendary release Spectrum. This performance, recorded live at the Montreux Jazz festival, is a reworking of his composition and features an expanded lineup featuring the great Brecker Brothers. As would be expected, the addition of a horn section gives the tune a different vibe than its earlier performance. Though this arrangement is not as frantic as the original – and thus not quite as good – it has other qualities to commend. Since its jazz sensibility is higher, more improvisation is heard. Michael Brecker really shoots for the moon during his solo sax turn. Keyboardist Leviev takes a different tack than Jan Hammer did on Spectrum. He plays it cool and relaxed in a slow section. This was probably a good decision. Any effort to match Hammer's blazing playing would have been disastrous. Guitarist Abercrombie is fantastic on this piece. However, since Leviev does not play his foil as Hammer had for Tommy Bolin, Abercrombie's performance gets a little lost in this band's horn-heavy bombast. What to say of the leader on drums? At the time he was the standard all fusion drummers were measured against. This performance is just one more example why.
Reviewer: Walter Kolosky