This 1981 live set from Billy Cobham's Glassmenagerie is seeing a brand new reissue from Inakustic Gmbh, and should be a worthwhile purchase for fans of the legendary fusion drummer. Also featured on the album is guitarist Mike Stern (who was also putting in time with Miles Davis), keyboard player Gil Goldstein, bassist Tim Landers, and violinist Michal Urbaniak. Together these musicians deliver some smoking renditions of Cobham classics like "Stratus", "Total Eclipse", and "AC/DC". Hearing Stern and Urbaniak dueling it out on the title track is pretty damn impressive, and Cobham's powerful beats propel the complex jazz of "Kasia", a tune that also sees Urbaniak and Goldstein firing up some tasty melodies. Of course, for the drum officianado's there are two drum solos from Cobham included here, where he displays his world reknowned technique. It's not all fiery fusion though, as the band takes a more calming strut through the gentle Goldstein penned "Wrapped in a Cloud" as well as the smooth jazz "All Hallows Eve", a song written by bassist Landers. The Mike Stern track "Brooze" is a smoldering number that lets the guitarist really show what he is made of, as he unleashes fiery jazz and blues solos over Cobham and Landers busy rhythms.
If you are a fusion fan, picking up a copy of Stratus will be a no brainer. It's a good mix of songs from the whole band, and in the end you'll wish there was more.
1. Drum Solo Intro/ Stratus
4. All Hallows Eve
5. Wrapped In A Cloud
7. Total Eclipse