The First Second (TipToe-Enja 888-833)
Billy Cobham (drums),
Bill Bickford (guitar), Wolfgang Schmid (bass).
Composed by Bill Bickford.
Recorded: Munich, Germany, 1998
Rating: 95/100 (learn more)
This is subterranean fusion at its best. "Subwayer" is a mix between Funkadelic and Black Sabbath without the subtlety. Paradox is even more in the groove on this cut than on "Shoes in Seven" from the trio's first album Paradox. Bickford is playing a killer jazz-funk-blues rock guitar. His solos are full of a distorted passion. Cobham is kicking ass over Bickford's twisted chords. Bassist Schmid is given a showcase in opposition to Cobham in the tune's slowed-down midsection. While Cobham is flailing away, Schmid takes his time and eases into a deep funk. He had to wipe his hands off after this exposition. The sinister theme and balls-out performances from all three musicians make "Subwayer" a track you must hunt down and foist upon yourself. You will thank me later. I would like to know, however, why this aggregation made only two albums.
Reviewer: Walter Kolosky