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. 

 

 
The title of Brian Gruber’s astonishing book doesn’t come close to describe what is encompassed in this fascinating work. The jumping point might begin with Billy Cobham’s six nights at Ronnie Scott’s but actually dives deeply into a number of oral histories, including facts about the legendary drummer—make that musician–that might surprise all but the most fanatical Cobham follower. While Cobham-philes will devour the results of Gruber’s astounding conversations with the articulate artist the book will captivate anyone fascinated in the history of popular music from the 1960s forward from Billy’s viewpoint.

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.

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