Legendary drummer Billy Cobham’s Crosswinds Project quintet played to a sold-out crowd Tuesday during the first of two nights at Yoshi’s in Oakland, the second stop on a nationwide tour.
Seventy three years young, Cobham still plays with the same level of energy and musicianship he displayed 45 years earlier as the propulsive engine of the groundbreaking Mahavishnu Orchestra. The Yoshi’s set included reengineered versions of tracks from Cobham’s second solo album, “Crosswinds,” including the hard-blowing ‘Pleasant Pheasant,” the ethereal “Heather” and the rock steady title track.
The band featured the electronically-enabled bassoon of Paul Hanson who channeled his inner Woodwind Hendrix throughout the set, along with guitarist Fareed Haque, keyboardist Scott Tibbs and Tim Landers on bass. With Cobham directing traffic from behind his signature double-bass equipped Tama drum kit, the band also dove deep into material from “Spectrum,” – Cobham’s quintessential jazz-rock album from 1973 – including “Stratus” and “Taurian Matador” along with a sly reference or two from Cobham’s days with Mahavishnu John McLaughlin.
A Crosswinds Project album is said to be in the works, tentatively scheduled for a 2019 release.
See additional images from the show via our Flickr photo album.