Remembering Jimmy Cobb

January 20, 1929 – May 24, 2020

 

The veteran drummer is remembered in a tribute

Jimmy Cobb passed away on May 24, 2020 at the age of 91 from lung cancer.

Born as Wilbur James Cobb on Jan. 20, 1929 in Washington D.C., he began playing drums when he was 15.

Three years later he was already working with Billie Holiday; other early jobs included Earl Bostic, Dinah Washington (1951-55) and Cannonball Adderley (1956-58).

Cobb is best remembered for being Miles Davis’ drummer during 1958-63 including recording Kind Of Blue, Sketches Of Spain, Someday My Prince Will Come, At The Blackhawk, and Miles Davis at Carnegie Hall.

A solid and dependable drummer who always swung, Cobb left Davis in 1963 along with the rhythm section which became the Wynton Kelly Trio; the group made a notable recording with Wes Montgomery.

Cobb worked with Sarah Vaughan in the 1970s, was part of the Great Jazz Trio with Hank Jones and Eddie Gomez, and in 1998 became a bandleader, heading Jimmy Cobb’s Mob.

Among the many other artists who Jimmy Cobb recorded with (he was on over 350 recording sessions during 1948-2019) were Kenny Dorham, Paul Chambers, Wayne Shorter, John Coltrane (Coltrane Jazz), Bobby Timmons, Art Pepper, Paul Gonsalves, Pepper Adams, Ricky Ford, Richie Cole, Sonny Stitt, Frank Morgan, Nat Adderley, Roy Hargrove, Warren Vache, Geri Allen, and Hendrik Meurkens.

Here is Jimmy Cobb leading a trio at the Village Vanguard on Aug. 22, 2013, playing “I I Were A Bell” with pianist Tadataka Unno and bassist Paolo Benedettini.

-Scott Yanow

Subscribe to Jazz on the Tube