Jazz drummer Jimmy Cobb turns 86 years young today, January 20, 2015! Cobb is best known for his time with Miles Davis, during which he played on Davis’ Kind of Blue (1959), which is considered by many to be “the quintessential jazz record”. Cobb was a member of Miles’ rhythm section that included: Wynton Kelly on piano and Paul Chambers on bass. Cobb is the last surviving player from that session. Cobb also play on other Miles Davis albums including: Sketches of Spain,Someday My Prince Will Come, Miles Davis at Carnegie Hall, In Person Friday and Saturday Nights at the Blackhawk, Complete, and briefly on Porgy and Bess and Sorcerer.
I will always remember Jimmy Cobb, along with Kelly and Chambers for their work with Wes Montgomery. Cobb played on the following albums with Wes Montgomery…..
Full House (Riverside, 1962)
Boss Guitar (Riverside, 1963)
Guitar on the Go (Riverside, 1963)
The Alternative Wes Montgomery (Riverside, 1963)
Smokin’ at the Half Note (Verve, 1965)
Smokin’ Guitar (Verve, 1965)
Willow Weep for Me (Verve, 1969)
For the longest time Willow Weep for Me was my favorite Wes Montgomery album and probably still is, but after discovering Full House and Smokin’ at the Blue Note those albums aren’t far behind!!
Jimmy Cobb also played on six releases from John Coltrane and nine discs from the great Wynton Kelly. My favorite of Kelly’s is Kelly Blue, but in fairness to the other eight albums, I have not listened to any of them extensively! Here’s some of the other jazz greats that Cobb has worked with through the years!
Dinah Washington, Pearl Bailey, Clark Terry, Cannonball Adderley, Dizzy Gillespie, Sarah Vaughan, Billie Holiday, Stan Getz, Wes, Gil Evans, Paul Chambers, Kenny Burrell, J. J. Johnson, Sonny Stitt, Nat Adderley, Hank Jones, Ron Carter, George Coleman, Fathead Newman, Geri Allen, Earl Bostic, Leo Parker, Charlie Rouse, Ernie Royal, Philly Joe Jones, Bobby Timmons, Walter Booker, Jerome Richardson, Keter Betts, Jimmy Cleveland, Sam Jones, Red Garland, Joe Henderson, Eddie Gómez, Bill Evans, Stefan Karlsson, Jeremy Steig, Richard Wyands, Peter Bernstein, Richie Cole, Nancy Wilson, Ricky Ford, and David Amram.
While I ended my jazz listening night with the posthumous Wes Montgomery album Willow Weep for Me which won the Grammy Award in 1970 for Best Jazz Instrumental Album, Individual or Group. earlier in the day I listened to Jimmy Cobb’s 2014 release The Original Mob on the Smoke Sessions label. The album was recorded at the Smoke Jazz Club, New York City on February 3 of 2014, when Mr. Cobb was only 85 years old!! The album is great! The Mob is composed of Brad Mehldau (piano), John Webber (bass) and PeterBernstein (guitar) Both Mehldau and Berstein are outstanding on the album and Webber is rock steady!
I was reading, while I was listening to the album, and several times I stopped and listened to the drum solos of Jimmy Cobb, particularly on “Sunday in New York” and “Stranger in Paradise” and shook my had in disbelief, as I remembered, that I was listening to an 85-year-old drummer, unbelievable! I guess it proves that doing what you love keeps you young!!
So Happy Birthday Jimmy Cobb thanks for all the great music and I hope you get to make a lot more of it!! Check Him Out!!
Links for Further Explorations of the Music of Jimmy Cobb
Here’s Jimmy Cobb and The Original Mob at Smoke Jazz Club with “Stranger in Paradise” – 86 years young!!