Music blogger and longtime Yes digital media manager Mike Tiano releases this fresh review of “Six Days at Ronnie Scott’s.” Mike interviewed Billy and I during the initial launch of the book.
While the title event is well-documented, the influential musician’s life story is meticulously discussed by Cobham himself along with the perspective of those who interacted with him during their lifetime (including band mates past and present), along with those who were greatly influenced by him (e.g., Bill Bruford’s first encountering Cobham when the Mahavishnu Orchestra were the opening act for Yes). We learn about Billy’s musical journey where he performed with legends that included the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Miles Davis, and Muhammad Ali, leading to his involvement with the Mahavishnu Orchestra and launching his own solo career of releasing many memorable albums, and the foibles of eking a living as an innovative musician who can at the same time remain relevant to modern audiences.
Brian’s herculean efforts in assembling this wonderful tome goes beyond Cobham and includes info that centers on Ronnie Scott himself, and how the club came to be. This book sets a benchmark for oral histories and has much to digest; the consumer will find much to revisit time and again.
Whether you’re a casual fan of Cobham’s musical output or think you know all there is to know about the exquisite musician this is a must read, and Gruber’s musical knowledge coupled with his deft organization of the various elements contained herein is nothing short of dazzling.
And trust me, that is no hyperbole.