Few ’70s drummers gained as much respect from their peers as well as younger listeners as did Billy Cobham, whose talents were well displayed with guitarist John McLaughlin in the Mahavishnu Orchestra. He also reached a broad cross-section of music fans with his own string of successful solo albums, including the influential “Spectrum” and fan favorite “A Funky Thide of Sings,” and stints with Carlos Santana, Miles Davis, the Brecker Brothers and John Abercrombie, among others.
Cobham is now on the road with his “Spectrum 40″ tour, celebrating that great recording, which included the oft-played “Stratus” and “Red Baron.” He’s recently been playing “Stratus II,” a reworking of the familiar hard-driving fusion piece, this time front-fitted with deep reggae grooves and a way laidback reading of the familiar riff. The tour hits the Palladium in St. Petersburg on Friday, Sept. 20 (more info below).
Longtime Tampa jazz bassist Michael Ross (left) is celebrating the release of “Ginger,” his fourth recording as a leader, with a Tampa Jazz Club concert Sept. 29 at 3 p.m. at the HCC/Ybor Mainstage Theatre. He’ll be joined by longtime musical associates Danny Jordan, saxophone/flute; LaRue Nickelson, guitar; Patrick Bettison, piano; and Walt Hubbard, drums. The show is part of HCC’s Visual and Performing Arts Series.
Also straight ahead is the Clearwater Jazz Holiday, with highlights including jazz singer Jane Monheit, funk pop veterans Tower of Power and Mr. 335 his own bad self — Larry Carlton, playing in a band led by six-stringer Paul Brown. The bill also includes local jazz-oriented acts New Groove City, led by Afro-Cuban percussion great Gumbi Ortiz; singer Lisa Casalino; and Acme Jazz Garage (yes, my own band). Americana flavors are on the bill, too, with Brandi Carlile and Bradenton’s Have Gun, Will Travel.
On the way:
Saturday, Sept. 7 — La Lucha with Jun Bustamante, Side Door Jazz at Palladium Theater, St. Petersburg, 8 p.m.; $13 advance, $15 day of show
Friday, Sept. 20 – Billy Cobham: “Spectrum 40″ with Ric Fierabracci, Dean Brown, and Gary Husband; Palladium Theater, St. Petersburg, 8 p.m.; $30, $40, and $50
Sunday, Sept. 29 — Michael Ross “Ginger” CD release concert, with Danny Jordan, LaRue Nickelson, Patrick Bettison, and Walt Hubbard, HCC/Ybor Mainstage Theatre, Ybor City, 3 p.m.; $15
Monday, Sept. 30 — USF Monday Night Jazz Series: USF Jazz Ensemble 1 with Tom Brantley, USF Concert Hall, Tampa, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 17-20 — Clearwater Jazz Holiday: Jane Monheit, Paul Brown and Larry Carlton, Tower of Power, Chicago, Average White Band, Brandi Carlile, New Groove City, Acme Jazz Garage, Lisa Casalino, Have Gun Will Travel, more; Coachman Park, Clearwater
Oct. 27 — Mike MacArthur and Friends: Warren Hill, Tampa Bay Sax Quartet & others, Jaeb Theater at Straz Center, Tampa, 6 p.m. ; $20 advance, $25 at the door
Nov. 30 — Dave Koz & Friends (Keiko Matsui, Oleta Adams, and Jonathan Butler) Christmas, Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater, 8 p.m.; $35 to $150
Dec. 16 — A Peter White Christmas (with Mindi Abair & Rick Braun), Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater, 8 p.m.;
Jan. 18 — Chris Botti, Capitol Theatre, Clearwater, 7:30 p.m.; $69 to $125
Feb. 12 — Tony Bennett, Mahaffey Theater, St. Petersburg, 7:30 p.m.; $65 to $150
Feb. 18 — Jonathan Batiste and the Stay Human Band; Straz Center Ferguson Hall, Tampa, 8 p.m.;
March 13 — Boney James, Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater, 7:30 p.m.; $25 to $65
April 3 — Branford Marsalis Quartet, Mahaffey Theater, St. Petersburg, 7:30 p.m.; $39, $49 and $59