Book Projects

London Jazz News Calls “Six Days” A Thoroughly Enjoyable Read, “A Must”

“Brian Gruber‘s new book has the hallmarks of one of the greatest tomes about perhaps the most influential drummers and bandleaders of this or any other era. Gruber has captured Billy Cobham‘s insights, humour and straightforwardness to an extent that no one else has previously achieved. One major reason for this is Gruber’s approach of interweaving the texts of one-to-one interviews with Cobham with his observations of the Billy Cobham/Guy Barker Big Band during their 2017 six-day residency at Ronnie Scott’s. This allows the reader to move between the two kinds of narrative in a balanced way, avoiding the need to absorb too much of either in one go. Not unlike a radio host playing frequent tracks interspersed with interviewing a noted guest, Gruber clearly gets the balance right, keeping the reader’s attention as he makes each new angle on how Billy ticks emerge into view.

Amazon Reviews Plus… Bill’s Best Friend Reviews the Book

Great stories are only great when told by great story tellers and Gruber is top draw, because, this is a great story! The author manages to capture the very essence of the brilliant Mr. Cobham, a musician who has been thrilling us with his musical artistry, for the past 50 years and who mischievously continues to confuse and evade the jazz police’s facile labels. An underrated composer with a prodigious body of work, Billy Cobham is deadly serious about the art of playing drums and is a man who doesn’t suffer fools easily.

Revelations of his troubled relationship with John McLaughlin are simply riveting and this chapter alone is worth the price of the book. Occasionally funny, but mostly a raw and painful account of their relationship when both were members of the highly successful Mahavishnu Orchestra in the 1970s.

Six Days at Ronnie Scott’s: Billy Cobham on Jazz Fusion and the Act of Creation

Few musicians have transformed a genre like Panama-born, New York-raised Billy Cobham. “Six Days at Ronnie Scott’s: Billy Cobham on Jazz Fusion and the Act of Creation” is a one-of-a-kind oral history of a legend’s life work. From his early days with Horace Silver and Dreams to the epochal Bitches Brew sessions with Miles Davis to the breakthrough Mahavishnu Orchestra and beyond, here is a first-ever deep dive into six decades of musical innovation.


WAR: The Afterparty: A Global Walkabout Through a Half Century of U.S. Military Interventions

WAR: The Afterparty is a round-the-world tour through countries that have received American military forces in the pursuit of freedom, democracy, justice, and the free flow of commerce. In Southeast Asia, the Greater Middle East, the Balkans and Central America, author Brian Gruber records oral histories from political and religious leaders, writers, teachers, mothers and combatants who witnessed history from the other end of the gun barrel.


Dauphin, Dorian and Dead: The Year Without a Net

Dauphin, Dorian and Dead is a tragicomic romp through four continents that answers the question: can two twice- divorced baby boomers find love in the modern world? Peter meets Monica through an elite dating agency, opening a whole new world of romance. The book tracks the ascent and descent of midlife romance, and documents the rela- tionship in a year-long blog. What do we expect of love at midlife, when it’s not about procreation, and how do we sustain it?

Reviews and Testimonials
Six Days at Ronnie Scott's:  "The mark of a good read is something that conjures up pictures and just in that description, you're already putting yourself backstage and seeing these conversations happen... an absolutely fascinating read. Any fan is obviously going to enjoy this." - Nigel Williams, Jazz FM, the UK's "home of jazz, soul, and blues."
Six Days at Ronnie Scott's: "An interesting concept... his questions are knowledgeable and penetrating... rather than dallying in the kind of film-flam that obfuscates the detail, memories and opinions that make a biography breathe... Fast paced with anecdotes pouring from every page, it wraps with Cobham describing his dream line-up to play with. Want to know who? Then go grab a copy." - Jon Newey, editor-in-chief of Jazzwise ( The UK's biggest selling monthly jazz magazine and the leading English language jazz magazine in Europe) 
Six Days at Ronnie Scott's: “I invented a single new word in honor of your book: ‘Unputdownable.’” - Bill Bruford, legendary Yes, King Crimson, Genesis, Earthworks drummer
Six Days at Ronnie Scott's: "The book is a massive undertaking... Despite being raised a generation and culture apart from Bed-Sty raised Panamanian born William Emanuel Cobham, Jr., Gruber manages to pull off a remarkable feat of music journalism... The interviews with Cobham cover a galaxy of subjects; from the cruel realities of the New York public school system, to the rhythmic complexity of a woman sashaying when walking or the sonic intricacies of live performance...There is so much information in this book that any serious student of Jazz, Fusion or music history will reap a bountiful harvest...A nice touch is the Spotify Soundtrack for each chapter of the book that contains some very unexpected musical gems. Hats off to Brian Gruber who accomplished what few could have written with such elaborate authority." - Tee Watts, Cadence Jazz Magazine
Six Days at Ronnie Scott's: “… an unusual and welcome addition to the jazz bibliography. It’s also a granular look at Cobham’s work and development… Gruber paints a fascinating sonic and emotional picture… Gruber is a strong interviewer, and his affection for Cobham’s music seems to have given him exceptional and unusually fruitful access to players in Cobham’s world… packed with illuminating anecdotes and commentary… While written by a jazz aficionado for other jazz aficionados – Cobham’s discussion of how and why he tunes his drums is quite technical – Six Days is also more broadly engaging… this vibrant and organic project… The book affirms Cobham’s status in modern jazz history, as well as making you wish you’d caught at least one of those gigs at Ronnie Scott’s. - Downbeat, Carlo Wolff
WAR: The Afterparty: “This is unlike any geopolitical tome you’ll ever read. Instead of a dry, scholarly recounting of history, Brian Gruber takes us along on a movable feast across continents . . . equipped with little more than curiosity and frequently dependent on the kindness of strangers, he nonetheless manages to yield remarkable insight from his hosts and new acquaintances — a mark of a skilled inquisitor. What results is a casual, non-linear tour de force.” - Steven L. Herman, chief diplomatic correspondent, Voice of America
WAR: The Afterparty: “Joining the army, according to an old proverb, gives you the chance to ‘travel the world, meet interesting people and kill them.’ In this book, Brian Gruber travels the world, meets extremely interesting people, and instead of killing them, tries to understand them. His book cuts through layers of propaganda and helps us see the world’s problems–and ourselves–through the eyes of others.” - Stephen Kinzer, former New York Times bureau chief
WAR: The Afterparty: “So, I must say, Gruber did a great job. In his book, he gives voice to people worldwide one never would imagine ever talking to. In this way, the insight is genuine and fresh, even if you’re talking of events decades past . . . Gruber had a great idea and carried it amazingly well to the end” - Paolo Salom, Corriere della Sera
WAR: The Afterparty: “Brian Gruber has gone against the group think . . . a worthy look at these countries and the American interventions, long after the passions of the day have faded.” - James Brooke, editor in chief of the Ukraine Business Journal