Billy Cobham

Cited by drummers and critics alike as one of the greatest exponents of jazz rock drumming, the Panamanian-American percussionist Billy Cobham has made a lasting impression on the world of music. Born in Panama in 1944 he moved to America when he was three years old. In 1965 he was drafted into the US military and played in a US Army band and after he was discharged began to forge a career as a session player during which time he became the house drummer for Atlantic Records. His first foray into creating a career outside session drumming came when he co-founded the jazz rock group Dreams along with Michael and Randy Brecker and John Abercrombie. Dreams went on to become one of most highly rated jazz rock groups of the era and in doing so cemented Cobham's reputation as a drummer of extraordinary ability. He toured with Miles Davis appearing on Davis's seminal album 'Bitches Brew' and then went on to form the Mahavishnu Orchestra with John McLaughlin. In 1973 Cobham branched out with his own solo project and recorded the album 'Spectrum'. The record became the surprise hit of 1973 when it reached number one on Billboard's Jazz Chart and even reached number number 26 on the Mainstream Top 200. Cobham has continued to be a towering influence in the world of drumming and in 2011 founded his own online drumming school, The Billy Cobham School of Drums.

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