From the Stacks

From The Stacks: Dale Jacobs – ‘Cobra’

Dale Jacobs & Cobra FrontWho knew that Canada was harboring a potential jazz fusion superstar?

I can’t find much biographical information about Dale Jacobs. Apparently he scored some films, kicked some ass on a variety of electronic keyboards, and then died from lung cancer. Cobra, released on the Epic label in the US as Dale Jacobs & Cobra, appears to be one of the few albums he ever released.

Most of the cuts onΒ Cobra fall somewhere between an early ’80s cop show and the lobby of your local dentist. Take the title track, for example:

But it isn’t all bad news (or good news, if you’re a fan of the cop-dentist crossover genre). Jacobs had a taste for funk. Some of the tracks are worthy of a little bit of stank face:

This may be a brilliant lost album, or perhaps it’s a piece of junk. I have absolutely no ear for the electronic jazz fusion genre — it all sounds like Miami Vice to me. So why do I own this record if it’s not my thing?

It’s that album cover. Come on!

Take a good look at that tableau. Apparently Jacobs got a high-heeled woman up to his sky-high penthouse apartment and knocked her out with a mixture of various liquids decanted in fine crystal. The booze hit her so quickly she didn’t even have a chance to set her purse down on Dale’s grand piano.

What happened next remains a matter of some conjecture, but regardless of whether the deal was consummated I think we can agree that some Cosby-like shenanigans occurred. Whether Dale’s prey was slipped the fat albert before or after the boa constrictor pretending that it was cobra entered the room we’ll never know, but one thing seems evident: Dale Jacobs was eaten by the boa constrictor.

And for that reason alone we welcome Cobra to the Bad Album Cover Hall of Fame.

Dale Jacobs & Cobra Back

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7 replies »

  1. One of my favorites of all time…. The cover, the music that suits it to a tee or both? It is forever engraved in my mind as the aural memory of one of the peak times of my life πŸ™‚ Sad to hear he died of lung cancer, happy to see his music lives on πŸ™‚


  2. Great music, Dale was an innovator at that time. Sadly his greatest album titled “Tropical Snow” was buried by CBS after negotiations for its release fell through. It was a masterpiece of jazz fusion and sits unheard in CBS files somewhere

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great music – I have good memories of evenings that Ralph Dyck and I spent at Puccini’s listening his band. I still have copies of the tapes that CHQM made for their late night jazz program.


  4. M, sad about the never published album, there are indeed occasional gems that never get out of the studio or get forgotten. I remember an occasion being present at Le Studio when it was producing Aqvarium’s Reggae album back in the late 80s and we had a bootleg cassette of some great stuff that never made it out of the studio – unfortunately that cassette disappeared in one of our moves. Same thing with a recording I had that was solely for the CBC internal use… Some of these jingles were amazing and as the discs were pressed in very limited quantities it will be near to impossible to find it again. Ah well.

    Hopefully someone will find this forgotten Dale Jacobs gem and leak it out for the common good πŸ™‚


    • I believe Tropical Snow was released in Canada – I saw a copy of this album in The Bay’s record department in their Richmond store. I don’t know anything more about it.


  5. Oh, damn! Just pulled a hand-me-down turntable out of mothballs, gave it a going over with alcohol, q-tips, and fresh oil, and dug into the old boxes of vinyl… It’s been so long I’ve played anything from the old collection, I couldn’t remember what this one was, but the cover convinced me that it should be number 2 discovery this evening on the “new” platter. (My number one pick was Mose Allison’s “Seventh Son” “cause I remembered it to be a fabulous recording… and yes, it’s )

    This is some sweet shit. Sort of sucky in a few spots, but overall just wonderful fusion, classic in it’s time, with some very hip synth. And an good pressing of a really great recording… but, ya, it’s the album cover that’s almost the best of it all!!!

    So sorry to find out he’s no longer with us, what a loss


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