Jazz in Wales

News about gigs, festivals, famous names, new artists and more compiled by DJ Andy Roberts in Cardiff, Wales. Send your updates to andy @ jazzinwales.co.uk

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Billy Cobham - Back To His Roots

The legendary drummer has been getting back to his Latin roots with a short collaboration and tour in Wales with Cuban band Asere.

Billy Cobham and Asere

Billy - who was born in Panama before being brought up in New York - first met the Cuban seven-piece at WOMAD in 2002 but only now have they managed to find simultaneous spaces in their diaries to get down to some serious preparation.

They spent three days rehearsing in Cardigan before their first performance at Theatr Mwldan, followed by dates in Builth Wells, Swansea and Aberystwyth.

I saw the Friday night gig at the Wyeside Arts Centre in Builth, where a capacity crowd enjoyed an evening of Asere's traditional and contemporary Cuban sounds with additional flourishes from their guest drummer and a Cubanized version of Marvin Gaye's Inner City Blues.

Apart from a ten minute drum solo which opened the second set, Billy was happy to be one of the gang, taking his turn on hand percussion, backing vocals and even a little soft shoe shuffle - it was surely never like this in the Bitches Brew sessions!

It's likely the collaboration will be repeated at major venues and festivals all over the world - for more details, see http://www.billycobham.com/

If you saw one of these gigs, you can add your views by clicking the Comments link just below this line.


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