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Jazz legend Jimmy Cobb to Recieve Presidents Medal on May 21st

presidents medal




LIVE: JimmyCobb's So What Band @ The Egg 2/10/11

Jimmy Cobb just may be the ultimate swinger. In his long career as a jazz drummer, he has been a signature contributor to recordings from such iconic musicians such as John Coltrane, Wynton Kelley, Wes Montgomery and many others. His tenure with the great trumpet player Miles Davis in the 1950’s resulted in several great recordings, the most famous and influential being “Kind of Blue” in 1958. Over time this recording has achieved mythic status, largely in part to its great compositions and legendary band members. The original recording featured Miles Davis (trumpet), John Coltrane (tenor saxophone), Cannonball Adderley (alto saxophone), Wynton Kelly and Bill Evans (piano), Paul Chambers (bass) and Jimmy Cobb (drums).

Kind of Blue at the egg

JIMMY COBB’S SO WHAT BAND @ THE EGG, 2/10/11 February 10, 2011 at 10:26 pm
by Michael Eck Special to The Times Union ALBANY –

It’s virtually impossible to overstate the importance of “Kind of Blue.” Over two spring days in 1959, Miles Davis and his band created magic; a floating, hovering, spare sound that’s never been equalled. Of the players on those two sessions – Davis, saxophonists Cannoball Adderley and John Coltrane, pianists Bill Evans and Wynton Kelly, bassist Paul Chambers and drummer Jimmy Cobb — only Cobb remains, still a powerhouse at age 82.
Congress Honors Kind of Blue
By Aubrey Everett
Miles Davis’ monumental album Kind of Blue was honored by Congress this week as a landmark contribution to the genre, the Associated Press reports. Davis was joined on the now infamous record
by John Coltrane and Cannonball Adderley, both on saxophone, Bill Evans and Wynton Kelly on piano,
Paul Chambers on bass and drummer Jimmy Cobb.
ALL ABOUT JAZZ: Enjoy Jazz Festival: Days 7-10, October 26-29, 2009
As the festival continues towards its end on November 11, the four days following the ECM 40th anniversary were
devoted to a number of prominent American musicians, ranging from guitarist Bill Frisell's 858 Quartet and pianist
Brad Mehldau to Jimmy Cobb's Kind of Blue at 50 tribute band, and singer Cassandra Wilson. From the mainstream
to the gently experimental, it was further evidence of the festival's exceptionally broad stylistic purview.
NEW YORK - Jimmy Cobb could hardly imagine he would be making history when he arrived at Columbia Records'
30th Street Studio 50 years ago for the first of two recording sessions with Miles Davis.
Over two spring days in 1959, trumpeter Miles Davis convened five other musicians at a Manhattan
studio for a new recording project. Released 50 years ago this week, the resulting album — Kind of Blue
— became one of the best-selling and most influential jazz recordings of all time. Drummer Jimmy Cobb
is the last surviving performer from the celebrated album, which also featured jazz legends John Coltrane,
Julian "Cannonball" Adderley and Bill Evans. Now 80, Cobb continues recording and is currently touring
the world through January with his band to mark the anniversary. He spoke with TIME about Kind of Blue's
enduring impact and his decades of performing among the greats.
When you all gathered for those sessions on East 30th Street, did you have any idea you were
creating such an influential recording?

Nobody that day knew it would have this longevity. For us, it was just another Miles Davis date.
Miles Davis made a lot of pretty good record dates, and we just figured this was another good one.

Why do you think it's had that longevity?

I don't know. It's just a music whose time had come, I guess, and a lot of people were ready to listen.
It was a pretty good hit as soon as it got out — everyone was playing it, I was hearing it on jukeboxes and things.
It must have been pretty good.

I've read you all didn't rehearse beforehand.

That particular day I didn't have any instructions or anything — [Miles] would just tell me what the cadence
and time signatures were and things like that. He may have had some rehearsal with the
horn players, but that day he just came in with some manuscript paper and they went right to it.

Was that hard to pull off, with so little time to prepare?

I was feeling pretty confident.
I was with a lot of confident guys, you know. I always felt I was safe with them. [Laughs]

Who were some of the musicians that influenced you as you grew up in Washington?

In my teens, I used to listen to Billy Eckstine's band. He had all the great players — Charlie Parker,
Dizzy Gillespie, anyone you can mention probably went through that band. The drummer was
Art Blakey. When I was still at home and 18 years old, I had the opportunity to play with Billie Holiday.
She had a pianist who was going to college in Washington, and he formed a little quartet when she came to town.

Did Blakey help persuade you to take up the drums?

Yes, that and a friend of mine who lived in the neighborhood. He used to come to my house;
I had a few jazz records we would play and drum on the table with our knuckles.

You've played with many of the biggest names in jazz history. It must be hard to choose,
but does anyone particularly stand out in your memory?

Dinah Washington and Sarah Vaughan — I have to mention them. They gave me a certain feeling I
hadn't had, being raised in the Catholic church. Dinah Washington — she was a totally different
thing that I wasn't used to hearing. And Sarah Vaughan, I used to get goosebumps every night
playing with her.

What about the future of jazz? Are there promising musicians coming through the ranks?

There's a lot of good players. Schools are pumping them out faster than I think they can get jobs,
but they seem to be very interested in the music. If they have a love for it, I think we can keep it going.

Over the years there's been a surge in girl drummers — killer drummers who are really entertaining.
The first one I was really associated with was Terri Lynn Carrington,
I knew her when she was a little girl.

You've made it to 80 years old in a business where many don't make it nearly as far.
A lot of musicians fall into drugs and make all kinds of bad choices.

I could be around situations that I didn't have to participate in, you know? That was true all my life. It's about not overdoing everything. You just have to stay true to yourself, and you have to start out with good genes, I guess.

I imagine you're at the point where you didn't have to keep working if you didn't want to.
What's driving you to stay on the road and keep at it?

I like to do it, and I'm really not at the point that you say I am. Being on a record like [Kind of Blue],
you may think I was getting a lot of that money, which is not true. You can throw that one out.
I'm just out there like a working man.

Someone's making a lot of money off of it.

Oh, yes. Sony Records.

So no plans to slow down for you?

Only way I can slow down is if I hit the lottery.
James "Jimmy" Cobb INTERVIEW
Interview by Molly Murphy for the NEA August 2008
Featuring John Coltrane and Cannonball Adderley along with bassist Paul Chambers and drummer
Jimmy Cobb, this Legacy Edition includes the original album plus alternate takes (with "So What" in its
first official, over-seventeen minute version), studio dialog that gives you a bird's ear view of the sessions'
genius, and tracks recorded the previous year that include "Stella By Starlight," "On Green Dolphin Street,"
and Cole Porter's "Love For Sale."
The magical music was brought to life by an equally magical collection of musicians. Joining Davis
and Evans were John Coltrane on tenor sax, Julian "Cannonball" Adderley on alto sax, Paul Chambers on
bass, and Jimmy Cobb on drums. Pianist Wynton Kelly performed on one tune, the bouncing and bluesy
"Freddie Freeloader." All were greats on their instruments. Cobb is the only survivor from that day. At age
80, he's still a master, performing with a list of greats over the years and leading his own bands.
On Saturday at Freihofer's festival, he will re-create "Kind of Blue" with a superior group of some of
today's top jazz talents. The group is on a world tour this year to celebrate the anniversary.
Today's tribute band, featuring trumpeter Wallace Roney, Javon Jackson and Vincent Herring on sax,
pianist Larry Willis and Buster Williams on bass, has its own strengths, Cobb is adamant it isn't simply
an attempt to reproduce the original.
VEJA SAO PAULO RECOMENDA: Jimmy Cobb and the So What Band!
"Eighty-year-old drummer Jimmy Cobb, who in 1959 played on the classic Miles Davis album Kind of Blue, is the festival's most senior swinger, and his group will pay tribute to Kind of Blue a half-century after its release.
However, his band will also feature three horn players about half his age."
"Kind of Blue" at 50: Jimmy Cobb's So What Band with Wallace Roney at Yoshi's in Oakland, 6/10-14
Miles Davis wasn't at the first edition of the Montreal International Jazz Festival in 1980 ­ he would turn up two years later ­ but the late icon's presence certainly looms large in the programming for the festival's 30th annual music celebration.

Among the concerts announced Tuesday is Miles from India, a critically acclaimed fusion of Indian music and
Davis favourites, which arrives live in a Canadian exclusive at Théâtre Maisonneuve of Place des Arts July 4.
The same night, in Théâtre Jean Duceppe of Place des Arts, Kenny Garrett pays tribute to Davis through original compositions in Sketches of MD. A 50th-anniversary retrospective of Davis's groundbreaking Kind of Blue album,
also at the Jean Duceppe, on July 6, will feature Jimmy Cobb, who played on the 1959 LP, and his So What Band.
Jazz Fest founder George Wein leads swinging Jazz Tent set:

Jazz Fest co-founder and pianist George Wein led a multi-ethnic, multi-gender, multi-generation band of
Newport All-Stars in a Thursday (April 30) afternoon set in the WWOZ Jazz Tent.

At one end of the age spectrum were Wein (b. 1925) and drummer Jimmy Cobb (b. 1929). In the middle, trumpeter
Randy Brecker (b. 1945) and guitarist Howard Alden (b. 1958). On the lower end, Anat Cohen (clarinet and sax)
and Esperanza Spalding (bass and vocals) -- both comparative kids.

"I don't know whether we're the greatest band in the world,"

said Wein, during a break between tunes. "But we are the prettiest band in the world."
Both Cohen and Spalding earned ovations.

Cohen's duet with Alden on "Shreveport Stomp" was an invigorating sprint. (Not sure what the second-liners
in the People's Health Economy Hall Tent are going to make of them, but they'll perform there at 3 p.m.
Friday (May 1), with Wein sitting in.)

Spalding brought the crowd to its feet after a solo feature in which she scat-sang over her own bass-playing.
(She'll lead her own band at 4:10 p.m. Friday (May 1) in the WWOZ Jazz Tent.)

Neither are to be missed, though the same could be said for Cobb's participation in Saturday's (May 2)
salute to Miles Davis' Kind of Blue (on which Cobb played) at 5:40 p.m. in the Jazz Tent.

Wein played master of ceremonies for the Thursday set,
which he concluded with a few words about the festival he started four decades ago.

"When I think about the 40 years we've been here, it's a very moving experience for me," he said.
"When I walk through this field, I can't really believe what's happening."
Interview: Jimmy Cobb (Part 1)
January 05, 2009

There's a moment on Miles Davis' Stella by Starlight in 1958 that crystallizes drummer
Jimmy Cobb's brilliance. It happens in a flash as Davis holds the final note of his trumpet solo and John Coltrane
comes in on tenor saxophone. Typically, drummers don't get a chance to make that much of a difference
on jazz recordings, save for keeping time and egging on soloists. But in this case, Jimmy's seamless
change from wispy brushes behind Miles to solid wood rim shots to support Coltrane completely
changes the mood and energy level of the standard. What had been up until that moment a sound
akin to tiptoeing on hot gravel instantly felt like a breakaway gallop. Once Coltrane wrapped,
Jimmy once again swapped sticks for brushes behind Bill Evans' solo.

These tasteful shifts perfectly define Jimmy Cobb's combination of sensitivity and power.
No matter the recording, Jimmy's drumming always expresses a restrained tension that never fails
to move the needle on the listener's anxiety level. Jimmy's ability to accompany artists by building a
smoldering intensity with brushes and sticks—without stealing their thunder—is one of the many reasons
why he has always been in demand as a session player with the greatest names in jazz.

In Part 1 of my four-part interview with the legendary drummer and remaining member of the Kind of
Blue recording session, Jimmy talks about his early years, his personal and professional relationship
with Dinah Washington, and meeting and playing with Cannonball Adderley:

Your first recording was in 1951, on Earl Bostic's Flamingo, a massive hit.

Jimmy Cobb:
Yeah, it sold a lot of records. A lot of those Earl Bostic [pictured] songs had the same general beat
because Bostic had a thing he had to do to make money. He was a great saxophone player. He could
play some notes on the horn that weren’t there. A whole octave above what the instrument was
supposed to do. When [John] Coltrane came into his band, he learned a lot from Bostic. Like playing
three notes at once and notes above what the horn could do.
Bostic could make his alto sound like a tenor.

Monday, March 23, 1:00 p.m.

David Friend Recital Hall
921 Boylston Street Boston MA 02115

Legendary jazz drummer Jimmy Cobb was born in Washington D.C. in 1929. A superb, mostly self-taught musician, Cobb is the elder statesman of all the incredible Miles Davis bands. Cobb's inspirational work with Miles, John Coltrane, and Cannonball Adderly spanned 1957 to 1963 and included the masterpiece Kind of Blue,
the most popular jazz recording in history. He also played on Sketches of Spain, Someday
My Prince Will Come, Porgy and Bess, and many other watershed Miles Davis recordings.

Cobb did his first recording with Earl Bostic and played extensively with Dinah Washington, Billie Holiday,
Pearl Bailey, Clark Terry, Dizzy Gillespie, and Cannonball Adderly before joining Miles in 1957. He
continued to work with Miles' rhythm section after 1963 as the Winton Kelly Trio, then worked with
Sarah Vaughn for nine years.

Over the next 30 years, Cobb freelanced with great artists including Ron Carter, George Coleman,
Ricky Ford, Dave Holland, Hank Jones, Fathead Newman, Nancy Wilson, and many, many others worldwide.

Cobb has played around the world from Newport to Monte Carlo, from Los Angeles to Japan. He has performed for Presidents Ford and Carter, the Shah of Iran, and many other dignitaries. In 2007 he released Cobb's Corner with his quartet Roy Hargrove, Ronnie Mathews, and Peter Washington.

He remains active not only in New York City, where he leads Jimmy Cobb's Mob,
but on the international circuit.

"Initiated and produced by former Keystone Korner producer and current Jazz at Lincoln Center
programmer Todd Barkan, Cobb's Groove (Milestone) is a jaunty, satisfying, blues-ballads-and-bossa cocktail of
mostly originals and a few cherry-picked covers: Mancini's "Moment to Moment" and Frank Foster's "Simone"
are both delights. The title track is a head arrangement by Cobb that showcases an intense group sound.
Bernstein's hand at familiar-sounding themes-channeling golden-era Blue Note
-is highlighted by three of his tunes. Tenorman Eric Alexander is featured as special guest- "Eric is our
first time doing a horn with Cobb's Mob"-and he adds edge and warmth to the quartet formula."
The Steve Haines Quintet With Jimmy Cobb

The Steve Haines Quintet Release "Stickdaboom" on Zoho Records Debut
Posted: 2009-03-03

"Stickdaboom features the only surviving member of the Miles Davis Quintet, drummer Jimmy Cobb.
Haines and his impeccable double bass playing form a well matched rhythm section with the legendary Cobb,
and arguably one of the best one-two punch jazz sections today still actively recording."
‘Kind of Blue’ Survivor Jimmy Cobb Revisits Landmark Sessions By Patrick Cole

Feb. 11 (Bloomberg) -- Drummer Jimmy Cobb got a call from Miles Davis 50 years ago to take part in what
would prove to be a jazz milestone.

In two afternoon sessions in 1959, Davis, Cobb and an all- star team of saxophonists John Coltrane and Julian “Cannonball” Adderley, bassist Paul Chambers and pianists Bill Evans and Wynton Kelly produced
a masterpiece, “Kind of Blue.”

A half century after its release in August 1959, it is regarded by critics as perhaps the finest jazz record
of the modern era. It’s also the top-selling jazz album in history, with more than 4 million copies sold in the U.S.

“When people say this record is that popular for that long, I start thinking about Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong
and all the great recordings they made,” said the bearded Cobb, 80, sporting a leather jacket and baseball cap
during a recent interview at Bloomberg News headquarters in New York. “I would have never thought that record would outsell theirs.”

Cobb, the only surviving member of the storied recording sessions, will pay tribute to the 50th anniversary
of “Blue” during a three-night stand beginning tomorrow night at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Frederick P. Rose Theater.

The event will also celebrate the golden anniversary of another classic, Coltrane’s “Giant Steps,” which Cobb embellished with his hushed drumming.

‘So What’

At Rose Theater, Cobb will team up with pianist Mulgrew Miller, bassist Ivan Taylor and Take 6, the
gospel-influenced a capella group, to play new versions of “Blue” classics, including the infectious
“So What,” perhaps the original recording’s most popular and covered tune, and “Freddie Freeloader.”

Miller said in an interview that he began rehearsals with Cobb and the other musicians only yesterday
to capture the loose, spontaneous feel of the original recording sessions.

Cobb, a self-taught drummer, was born in Washington, D.C., and now lives in Manhattan’s Harlem neighborhood.
He still recalls the “Kind of Blue” sessions on March 2 and April 22, 1959, in detail.
He said Davis was dapper during the first session, in slacks, a long-sleeved shirt and an ascot.

“These guys were so professional,” Cobb said about the band. “How could you have a bad record date
with those guys? I could see nothing going wrong on it.

”Some of the songs weren’t written out completely. Cobb said Davis kept tweaking their structure
throughout the recording sessions.

“I didn’t even have sheet music,” Cobb said. “Miles had the chord changes and song’s structure written
on paper as notes.”

Cobb performs in “Miles and Coltrane: 50th Anniversary of ‘Kind of Blue’ and ‘Giant Steps’” Feb. 12-14
at Frederick P. Rose Theater, Broadway and 60th Street in Manhattan. Information: +1-212-721-6500;
*Jimmy Cobb is presented with a special commemiorative Kind Of Blue 50th snare drum
made by Steve Badalment of Innovative Drum Company.
-DRUMHEAD MAGAZINE(Jan-Feb 2009, pg. 102)
Jimmy Cobb and Cassandra Wilson Perform at the Kimmel Center This November
Posted: 2008-10-10

Kind of Blue Turns 50-The Jimmy Cobb Band-Honoring Jimmy Cobb
Saturday, November 1, 2008
Perelman Theater
Price: $32 and $38

The Kimmel Center’s Jazz Up Close Series during the 2008-09 season celebrates the 50th anniversary
of Miles Davis’ quintessential jazz album, Kind of Blue, with five concerts paying tribute to the men
who made it legendary. The first concert in the series honors drummer Jimmy Cobb, the lone surviving
member of the historic 1959 session, on Saturday, November 1, 2008 in Perelman Theater. A
formative figure in the development of jazz, Cobb will be awarded the National Endowments for
the Arts Jazz Masters Award, the nation’s highest honor in jazz, in 2009.

Cobb has attained international renown as a band leader, an accompanist and a solo artist, and
in much-heralded collaborations with Wynton Kelly, Wes Montgomery, the Adderley Brothers and
Sarah Vaughan. His signature rhythmic textures can be heard on hundreds of albums throughout
the past five decades. The elder statesman of all the Miles Davis bands, Cobb’s inspirational work
has appeared on such seminal Davis albums as Sketches of Spain, Someday My Prince Will Come,
Porgy and Bess, among many other landmark recordings. He has performed and recorded
extensively with luminaries such as Dinah Washington, Billie Holiday, Pearl Bailey, Clark Terry,
Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Stitt, Ricky Ford, Hank Jones, George Coleman, Fathead Newman
and many others.

Cobb’s extensive discography includes the two-disc Miles Davis tribute Miles from India (2008), for
which he joined with two dozen musicians including fellow Davis alumni Chick Corea, Gary Bartz and
Ron Carter and a contingent of Indian musicians. The album puts a pan-global spin on such classics
as “All Blues," “Spanish Key," “So What" and “It s About That Time." In 2007, Cobb released Cobb’s
Corner with his quartet, which included Roy Hargrove, Ronnie Mathews and Peter Washington; as
well as a tribute to Kind of Blue, Essence of Green, with Ron di Salvio. Cobb continues to tour with
his band Cobb’s Mob, with whom he is currently working on a new live album.

This is the first performance in the Jazz Up Close: Kind of Blue Turns 50 series. The next performance
in the series is the Fred Hersch Trio, Honoring Bill Evans and Wynton Kelly on
Saturday, December 6, 2008 at 7:30pm.

Jimmy Cobb, drums
Corcoran Holt, bass
Javon Jackson, sax
Russell Malone, guitar
Eric Reed, piano
2009 NEA Jazz Master- James Wilbur "Jimmy" Cobb
"Ive seen Jimmy Cobb holding the stick with a slightly tighter grip and, man, his beat is so beautiful."
-Brian Blade, Modern Drummer, July 2008
Jimmy Cobb Quartet featuring Kenny Barron

Drummer Jimmy Cobb played on what some consider to be the definitive jazz recording, Miles Davis’
“Kind of Blue,” spending five years in his band. From Washington D.C., Cobb built his reputation as an
accompanist in the 1950’s, working with artists such as Dinah Washington, Billie Holiday, Pearl Bailey,
Clark Terry, Dizzy Gillespie, Cannonball Adderly and Earl Bostic, with whom he made his first recordings.
Cobb joined Miles in 1957, playing on albums not only with Davis, but with John Coltrane as well
(including the “Giant Steps” sessions). Subsequently, Jimmy, along with pianist Wynton Kelly and bassist
Paul Chambers, left Miles’ band and worked as a trio behind Wes Montgomery, Kenny Burrell and J.J. Johnson.
Cobb then joined Sarah Vaughan, touring with her throughout the 1970’s. Mostly self taught,
Cobb is a consummate team player and peerless timekeeper, who is all about the big picture—
making the music swing.

Hear The Entire Program (54 minutes), July 3, 2007 - The best-selling jazz record of all time is a universally acknowledged masterpiece,
revered as much by rock and classical music fans as by jazz lovers. The album is Miles Davis' Kind of
Blue. Kind of Blue brought together seven now-legendary musicians in the prime of their careers:
tenor saxophonist John Coltrane, alto saxophonist Julian "Cannonball" Adderley, pianists Bill Evans and
Wynton Kelly, bassist Paul Chambers, drummer Jimmy Cobb and, of course, trumpeter Miles Davis.

Musicians from all genres perform, record and study the album's songs, and the influence of the songs
on culture beyond music continues to grow. Drummer Cobb says it all comes down to simplicity —
the reason Kind of Blue has remained so successful for so long. And because of its inherent balance,
historian Dan Morgenstern adds, the album never wears out its welcome.


Jazziz Magazine March 2006

John Webber and Jimmy Cobb: Sunday Star-Ledger 4.16.2006

La Colmar 9.2006

La Colmar 9.2006

Modern Drummer 2.1999

Jazz Thing