Song of the Week – Moon Germs, Billy Cobham


The great jazz fusion drummer, Billy Cobham, has recently ended a short tour as the Crosswinds Project, paying tribute to his own 1974 renowned album Crosswinds. His band included Paul Hanson (bassoon, saxophone), the brother of one of my bandmates in Rockridge Station.

I was unable to make it to the shows at the famous Yoshi’s in Oakland; but my friends that did, raved about the quality of the performances. That was the catalyst for me to dig out my Cobham discs and revisit the music.

The Cobham album I’ve been most familiar with is Total Eclipse, also from 1974. (I remember buying that record from the cut-out bins at NE Music City in Boston’s Kenmore Square.) When I returned to Total Eclipse I was blown away by a track I’d almost forgotten, “Moon Germs,” so I selected it as today’s SotW.

This funky number rocks! It has a big, dense arrangement, with a strong bass line (Alex Blake) and more horns than a stampede of rhinos (both Brecker brothers and Glenn Ferris). The guitar work by John Abercrombie is powerful. Check out the way the sax and guitar exchange solos halfway through. Remarkable!

It’s no wonder “Moon Germs” has become a staple in Cobham’s repertoire.

Enjoy… until next week.

One thought on “Song of the Week – Moon Germs, Billy Cobham

  1. I always think of Cobham as John McLaughlin’s great drummer, because he was, but I’ve heard and liked a lot of his own band’s stuff, too. This song is terrific playing, virtuosic, and delightful to hear because it’s so damn good, and at the same time I wonder what soundtrack it fits. I feel like they’re sky-highing because they can, and maybe that’s fine. It sounds great, but emotionally I find it a little distant.

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