Jazz Drummer Jimmy Cobb 1929 – 2020

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Renowned jazz drummer Jimmy Cobb died at the age of 91 from lung cancer. Cobb performed alongside many legendary jazz musicians, perhaps most notably contributing to Miles Davis’ landmark 1959 album, Kind Of Blue.

Cobb was born on January 20, 1929 and raised in Washington D.C. He began his professional career in 1950 supporting saxophonist Earl Bostic and soon after began accompanying vocalist Dinah Washington.

In 1958, Cobb was recruited to join Miles Davis’ sextet, replacing Philly Joe Jones on drums. The sextet, whose lineup eventually featured Davis, Cobb, tenor saxophonist John Coltrane, alto saxophonist Cannonball Adderley, pianist Bill Evans and bassist Paul Chambers, recorded Kind Of Blue, which featured the now classics “So What,” “All Blues” and others. Cobb continued to record with Davis, appearing on several additional albums, before leaving the group in 1963.

Subsequent years saw Cobb work with Coltrane, Chambers, Adderley, Wynton Kelly, Wes Montgomery, Sarah Vaughan, Wayne Shorter, Art Pepper, Hank Mobley, Kenny Burrell, J. J. Johnson, Hank Jones, Eddie Gomez and many others. Cobb’s first album as a bandleader, So Nobody Else Can Hear, was issued in 1983.

Cobb’s career also included stints teaching music at several prominent universities and the prestigious Berklee College of Music. In the 1990s and 2000s, Cobb connected with a new generation of jazz musicians, collaborating with the likes of Brad Mehldau, Christian McBride, Roy Hargrove, Mike Stern and many more.

In 2019, Cobb released two albums, a tribute to the late Hargrove Remembering U, and This I Dig Of You with Peter Bernstein, Harold Mabern and John Webber. Earlier this year, Cobb’s family established a GoFundMe page to help offset the costs associated with his cancer treatment.