The legendary Bill Bruford, drummer for Yes, King Crimson and his own jazz band Earthworks, includes my Cobham book in his “The best books on why drummers do what they do.” In a personal note, he told me the book was “Unputdownable.” As a Yes fan from way back, high praise.
Why this book?
Many of the best drummers write, or otherwise initiate, their own music for the very best reason: because they have to. This book is an oral history of Panamanian drummer Billy Cobham at the height of his powers, preparing his oeuvre for a 17-piece big band engagement under the guidance of British arranger and trumpeter Guy Barker. The gig is a 6-night run at London’s Ronnie Scott’s Club. Author Brian Gruber hangs out with the band for the duration to capture the verbal and musical fruits of an improvised series of encounters with elite performers. While the story pivots around the drummer, it is nevertheless an excellent multi-viewpoint guide over six decades as to how musicians collaborate and survive in an ever-changing music landscape.
The full article can be found here.