Billy Cobham & George Duke Band – Stratus (Live 1976)

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This is live at Montreux Jazz Fest 1976. What a lineup.  George Duke on the Moog synthesizer, Billy Cobham on drums, and a young, unknown John Scofield on guitar.  The Cobham/Duke Band is a legendary collaboration between these three jazz icons who all played in Miles Davis’ band at one point.  Cobham rose to prominence with Miles Davis before joining Mahavishnu Orchestra.  Scofield really got his start in this Cobham/Duke Band but soon asserted himself as a bandleader, also playing guitar for a variety of prominent jazz musicians.  George Duke developed as a musician during his tenure in Frank Zappa’s band throughout the 1970’s, and he cites Zappa as the person who forced him to develop his singing voice (which you don’t hear on this recording, but played a major role in Duke’s funk career).  The group also features Alphonso Johnson (from Weather Report) on bass.

This track is a jazz fusion jam that traverses boundaries of immense funk thanks to Duke’s synth and Scofield’s noodling. Check out the Cobham/Duke Band’s stellar live album, Live On Tour In Europe.

- JS

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