Editors’ Notes The most important thing to understand about Billy Cobham and George Duke’s teaming is that while the pair may have been icons of fusion jazz, the music you hear on Live on Tour in Europe should be regarded, undeniably, as funk. It's funk that's sometimes refracted, convoluted, and distended, but it's funk nonetheless. It’s there in the skittering cracks of Cobham’s drums and the greasy groans of Duke’s keyboards. The Commodores may have been America’s most popular funk outfit, but you’d be hard-pressed to find a Commodores song as funky as “Hip Pockets.” The great thing about this vision of funk music is that Cobham and Duke didn’t feel pressure to turn it into pop. Their jazz sensibility let them mine the music solely for the sake of rhythm and groove and sonic surprise. Even something as indulgent as “Frankenstein Goes to the Disco” becomes dazzling just by virtue of the duo’s exchange, and how much fun they have playing off each other. While there's plenty here for fusion diehards to appreciate, songs like “Do What Cha Wanna” should be equally revered by fans of Sly Stone and Donny Hathaway.


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