Thursday, December 09, 2021

Transcription: Billy Cobham - More

Billy Cobham playing a swing tune in kind of a show band setting here, on Stanley Turrentine's album The Sugar Man. A lot of it hardly merits a full transcription, except it's good to see how he conducts the band through the sections of the tune, and how and where he goes beyond a straightforward execution of the arrangement. People seem to feel like they have to play this kind of thing very conservatively— which much of this is, but he also plays some stuff.  

The tune, More, is a strange item in the universal lounge band repertoire— a lame little annoyance, it's the theme song from the Italian exploitation film Mondo Cane, which is not exactly mainstream fare. It's like if people started playing the theme from Deep Throat in Ramada Inn lounges across the country.

The first page looks pretty dull, there is quite a bit of action later on... 

Cobham's cymbal rhythm here is very dotted-8th/16th-y. The skip note is pretty tight against the following beat. He's playing a funny sounding cymbal— maybe a 602 flat ride. Along with his big ol' bass drum his instrument is not the type of sound you hear much any more. He feathers the bass drum and plays soft rim clicks on beats 2 and 4 through much of the early part— I left that out of the transcription.  

Listen closely, sometimes he's playing hits with the horns, sometimes he's essentially filling at the end of a phrase, sometimes he plays stuff at the beginning of the phrase, a few times he fills across the barline into the beginning of the next phrase. Often he'll lay down the groove a little heavier at the start of a phrase. 

The quintuplet lick in bar 97: what I wrote is close to accurate. I don't know if he's thinking quintuplets or if he's just throwing it in there, but it leads easily with the right hand on each move to the next drum.  

Get the pdf

This tune starts at 17:58 in the video below; the transcription starts at 19:07 in the video, and at 1:14 in the standalone mp3, if you have it: 

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