The legendary jazz/fusion drummer Billy Cobham aided by the equally legendary Brecker Brothers proves he is simply the God of Funk grooves with this seminal album.
If you're a fan of Isaac Hayes' "Shaft" (which Billy played drums on) and the classic funky jazz of Blaxploitation flicks of the 70's then you will LOVE this album.
Billy lays down the kind of killer grooves and dazzling polyrhythmic beats that only a true Funkmeister can and the stonking horns of the Brecker Brothers rivals even the great JB's at their best. With the dense funk driven bass of Alex Blake and pyrotechnic, yet sparingly used, guitar solos of jazz luminary John Scofield this album struts with a swagger funkier than anything by Parliament-Funkadelic or Sly Stone. Yes it really is THAT Funky!
However, this is Billy's album and he gives an astonishing solo drum performance on "Funky Kind Of Thing" before returning to his Latin jazz roots with the sublime "Moody Modes" a great ensemble piece featuring subtle piano interplay from Milcho Leviev with the Spanish flavoured trumpet of Randy Brecker which closes the album, so fans of funk may find these last two tracks a little dull compared with the funk onslaught that precedes them, but it is great jazz all the same and well worth persevering with if you're not familiar with its more esoteric approach.
Fans of Billy's tenure with the Mahavishnu Orchestra may find the solid funky grooves a little disappointing compared to the jazz-rock blitzkrieg of McLaughlin and Co. but as always Billy's powerhouse drumming is second to none.
Jazz Fusion purists may well prefer Billy's earlier albums "Spectrum" and "Crosswinds" to the more straight ahead funk licks on display here but to me few albums can rival the sheer funk exuberance of "Thide" and if you want music to get people on their feet in a funk-frenzy at a party this is the album for you.
The only criticism is that at 36 minutes it's too damn short!
However, given the vagaries of vinyl in 1975 that was the perfect length to keep those grooves phat and juicy.
If you think you know funk you don't know jack till you've heard Billy Cobham, he is the MAN!