William Cobham, 16 May 1944, Panama. Cobham began playing drums while growing up in New York City, to where his family had moved while he was still a small child. He studied at the citys High School of Music before entering military service. In the army he played in a band and by the time of his discharge had achieved a high level of proficiency. In the late 60s he played in the New York Jazz Sextet and with Horace Silver. In 1969 he formed the jazz rock band, Dreams, with Michael Brecker and Randy Brecker. The growing popularity of jazz rock kept Cobham busy with recording sessions, including some with Miles Davis, and he then joined John McLaughlins Mahavishnu Orchestra, one of the most influential and highly regarded jazz rock bands. Their 1973 recording Birds Of Fires success owed as much to Cobhams extraordinary drumming as it did to McLaughlins stellar guitar.
In 1973, Cobham capitalized upon his...
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