Earthlings: Billy Cobham & George Duke Band at Hempstead, 1976

It’s 1976. Beer comes in pull-tab cans and Miles Davis has taken a leave of absence. People don’t really know it, but jazz fusion is nearing the end of it’s creative streak: Mahavishnu Orchestra has burned through two lineups and Weather Report has just enlisted Jaco Pastorius, who’ll help propel the band into the stratosphere and towards glossy, slick jazz-pop.

For most of this year, Billy Cobham, George Duke and Alfonso Johnson toured together. They had impressive resumes: Cobham played with Davis and Mahavishnu, creating a reputation as a furious yet accurate drummer, while . . .

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