ha ! yea i know who he is. i've owned Spectrum at least twice but i was never exposed to much fusion. sure i know the names Mahavishnu, Weather Report, Return To Forever etc but i've never really heard their music.
Whether they know it or not, every drummer playing today was influenced by Billy Cobham. He was an innovator. He still is in many ways. Always trying a different approach. But his use of the "free" hand in crashing influenced so many drummers in that day, it became standard approach to set playing all drummers apply today.
I saw him two or three times back in the seventies. He's was like a force of nature.
I only know a hand full of drummer's names but he is one of them.
I saw him sometime in in the early 70's and, as a wannabe drummer, I was absolutely blown away. He looked like he was barely breaking a sweat but he was playing notes on every surface using every appendage.
I wanted to learn to play like that. He looked so relaxed but was banging the hell out of that kit. It took me 30 years to even realize how he does it (bounce your sticks and you can play twice as fast dummy)
I figure that if I work hard, in another 40 years, I'd be able to do some of it