Friday, January 13, 2012

Groove o' the day: Billy Cobham in 17/16

I present this just as a curiosity, because I've never encountered this meter anywhere before (maybe in a percussion ensemble piece?). But you can see how we usually deal with the odd #/16 meters; often they will be broken down into a regular meter + some 16ths. The solo section of Frank Zappa's Keep It Greasey, you'll remember, is in 19/16, interpreted as 4/4+3/16. Today's example, Spanish Moss from Billy Cobham's 1974 album Crosswinds, is in 17/16, played as 3/4+5/16 (with the 5/16 further broken down to 2+3/16).

Here's the main groove, plus a couple of more embellished versions that occur frequently throughout the piece:





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