11 Facts About Billy Cobham


Billy Cobham was inducted into the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame in 1987 and the Classic Drummer Hall of Fame in 2013.


Billy Cobham's influence stretched far beyond jazz; he influenced progressive rock contemporaries like Bill Bruford of King Crimson, and later ones like Danny Carey of Tool.


Billy Cobham started playing drums at the age of four, and joined his father four years later.


Billy Cobham was drafted in 1965, and for the next three years he played with a US Army band.


Billy Cobham played an early model electric drum kit given to him by Tama Drums.


Billy Cobham was a house drummer for Atlantic Records and a session musician for CTI and Kudu, appearing on the albums White Rabbit by George Benson, Sunflower by Milt Jackson, and Soul Box by Grover Washington Jr.


Billy Cobham started the jazz rock group Dreams with Michael Brecker, Randy Brecker, Barry Rogers, and John Abercrombie.


Billy Cobham moved further into jazz fusion when he toured with Miles Davis and recorded Davis's albums Bitches Brew and A Tribute to Jack Johnson.


Billy Cobham performed a long drum solo session with the band's two percussionists, Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart, known as the Rhythm Devils.


In 2006, Billy Cobham released Drum 'n' Voice 2, a return to the 1970s jazz-funk sound, with guests including Brian Auger, Guy Barker, Jeff Berlin, Frank Gambale, Jan Hammer, Mike Lindup, Buddy Miles, Dominic Miller, Airto Moreira, John Patitucci, and the band Novecento.


Billy Cobham plays his drums using the open-handed technique, which allows the player to play without crossing their right hand over the snare drum.