Paradox: Shoes in Seven
Shoes in Seven
Paradox (Tiptoe-Enja 888-824)
Billy Cobham (drums),
Bill Bickford (guitar), Wolfgang Schmid (bass).
Composed by Wolfgang Schmid-Grandy.
Recorded: Munich, Germany, April 1996
Rating: 90/100 (learn more)
Paradox was one fine power fusion trio. Bassist Schmid is a known quantity in Germany. His first marks were made in Klaus Doldinger's group Passport. He has won many German music awards. New York guitarist Bill Bickford spent a decade in the band DeFunkt. Billy Cobham is Billy Cobham.
The rhythm section of Cobham and Schmid start "Shoes in Seven" with a rocking beat similar in sound and purpose to Cobham's previous turn in the historic "Right Off" from Miles Davis's Tribute to Jack Johnson. Bickford goes with the flow by throwing in some very effective funky minor 9th chords. As Bickford solos it appears he is indeed paying tribute to "Right Off" as he mimics John McLaughlin's guitar sound. His chord knowledge seems to be very advanced. Cobham has engaged in many guitar/drum "duels" over the years. There is one of those on this cut as well. However, Bickford arms himself with only chords. It would seem he would be outmanned as Cobham usually goes into battle against single-note gunslingers who can shoot faster than the speed of sound. Instead Bickford matches every drum beat with every chord change. (Or is it the other way around?) It is quite an impressive feat either way. It is musical, too. Who knew that Billy Cobham was rocking things out again in a fantastic jazz-rock trio in the middle of the somewhat fusion-stale 1990s?
Reviewer: Walter Kolosky