On Dec. 21, 1974, Billy Cobham’s third solo album, Total Eclipse, debuted on the Billboard Top LPs & Tape chart at #85.
William C. Cobham was born in Panama on May 16, 1944. He showed an interest in percussion instruments early on. At the age of 3, his parents moved to NYC and, by age 8, he was drumming publicly. As a teen, Cobham played in a local drum & bugle corps. He served as a percussionist in the U.S. Army Band from 1965 to 1968. After the army, Cobham played with several jazz and jazz-rock bands, touring the US and Europe. His drumming caught the ear of Miles Davis who hired him for the Bitches Brew sessions (and subsequent Davis recordings).
During the late ’60s and early ’70s, Cobham played on albums by George Benson, Quincy Jones, Kenny Burrell, Sonny Rollins, Ron Carter, Milt Jackson, Carlos Santana, Carly Simon, Les McCann, Randy Weston, and Grover Washington, Jr. (to name but a few). In later years he would work with Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway, Stanley Clarke, The Brothers Johnson and Peter Gabriel.
Cobham is best known for co-founding Mahavishnu Orchestra with guitarist John McLaughlin—a jazz fusion group that mixed jazz improvisations with R&B funk and progressive rock signatures. Cobham is one of the best drummers of the fusion genre—powerful in his exactness.
The title track to Total Eclipse features Bulgarian pianist Milcho Leviev, the Brecker Brothers on horns, Alex Blake on bass, and John Abercrombie on guitar.