Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Groove o' the day: Billy Cobham - The Dancer

Today we have a funk samba groove from Billy Cobham, playing The Dancer on Stanley Clarke's School Days— one of the biggest fusion albums of the 70s. We're actually throwing a bone to the open-handed players here, because I think Cobham was playing his left hand on the hihat on this. The break in the bass drum pattern on 4 is unusual for a samba feel; the long sound on 4 is also very 70s-fusion to me. This is a very 70s groove.

There are three tom toms here— two medium-pitched drums and a 20" or 22" gong drum. If you don't want to screw with the open-handed thing, just play your right hand on a cymbal. It's not a big deal. The groove develops somewhat during the tune, but the toms are always prioritized. There is a recurring unison on the snare and tom tom on beat 4 of the first measure, which requires a fast move from the hihat to a drum. The quick open hihat on the e of 3 of the second measure is not really a regular part of the groove— you can continue the regular hihat rhythm there if you want.


Unknown said...

Thanks for this. Just heard the track and thought whats he doing ? Answered ! Now to err play it !!

Todd Bishop said...

It takes a little bit of algebra doesn't it!