Overall, the music created a very festive nature. The set started with Pleasant Pheasant, followed by So Cobra. Wilbert "Junior" Gill was on steel pans, Per Gade on guitar, Stefan Rademacher on bass, and Marcus Ubeda on keyboards. Ubeda had many different sounds but I enjoyed his Fender Rhodes sound the best. Gill’s improvisational skills were exceptional and the sound of the steel pans fit very well into the musical context. Black Orchid, from the new Culture Mix Colours recording, was dynamite. Cobham displayed his tasteful technique to an appreciative audience.
Other selections included Florianapolis, the title track from Crosswinds and a tune by Airto, I’m Fine, How Are You? Airto had an array of percussion tools to choose from and he and Billy were fantastic on this number. Guitarist Gade did several solos throughout the evening, one where he was seriously shredding. Rademacher, on bass, also had a very notable solo. Randy Brecker’s playing had a great feel and sensitivity in this eclectic musical environment.
Billy Cobham is a joy to see and hear. His group Culture Mix is a highly recommended. See them live and/or pick up their CDs and you will hear a music in the present tense. Also, watch and listen for Culture Mix Live at the Iridium.