The jazz world has seen some of the best drummers in history pass through its genre. One of them was undoubtedly Jimmy Cobb, who today cries for the battery when he lost a great man after a battle against lung cancer. According to NPR, Cobb passed away on Sunday, May 24 at his Manhattan home.
Jimmy Cobb was the last surviving member of Miles Davis’ first great sextet, which also included pianist Bill Evans, bassist Paul Chambers, and saxophonists John Coltrane and Julian “Cannonball” Adderley. This sextet is the one featured on Davis’ legendary Kind of Blue, the best-selling jazz album of all time.
Cobb’s relationship with Davis spanned several studio records. His rhythms that make you float are also heard in In Person Friday and Saturday Nights at the Blackhawk, Porgy and Bess, Sketches of Spain and 1958 Miles.
In addition, he appeared on Coltrane’s Giant Steps and Coltrane Jazz as well as several Cannonball Adderley records and his brother, Nat Adderley.
After his time with Davis, he and his companions continued to play together, as a trio under the name Kelly and as a prolific rhythm team, until Chambers’ untimely death in 1969.
Despite all his fame and recognition as a band accompanist, Cobb did not record as a band leader until the early 1980s. A decade later, he began mentoring young musicians in the same way that he had been in his early days. Brad Mehldau, one of his students played, in the first edition of his band Cobb’s Mob.
Cobb will always be remembered for having lived his life to the fullest. He will be remembered for his perfect rhythms in countless bands, making his legacy one that will live forever in jazz history.
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