Right in There with Jimmy Cobb

RIP the great Jimmy Cobb. In his honor I practiced a solo that all pianists fool around with, Wynton Kelly on “Freddie Freeloader” from Kind of Blue.

Every solo on this classic album seems bathed in an ethereal light, and of course Cobb’s beat has everything to do with the magic.

Kelly blows for four choruses. In chorus three Cobb adds a side-stick on “2,” on the last chorus Cobb changes it to “4.”


In the next Chronology column for JazzTimes, I give a careful listen to the three live dates of Wynton Kelly and Jimmy Cobb in Baltimore with varied tenors and bassists: Joe Henderson and Paul Chambers, George Coleman and Ron McClure, Hank Mobley and Cecil McBee. Stay tuned…

I’ve never heard a bad record with Jimmy Cobb! You can’t say that about every drummer, but when glancing through his discography, Cobb’s recorded legacy runs from great to genius.

One from back in the day that may have slipped through the cracks a bit is Bobby Timmons’s The Soul Man from 1966 with Wayne Shorter and Ron Carter.

A more recent session taking place at a very high level is Peter Bernstein’s 2009 Live at Smalls with Richard Wyands and John Webber.

The Jimmy Cobb interview conducted by Marc Myers offers some fascinating stories.