Drummer Jimmy Cobb, a member of the group that formed Miles Davis for the recording of the mythical “Kind of Blue”, has died at the age of 91. The cause of death has not been reported, but last January, her daughter Serena Cobb launched a campaign in Gofundme to seek financial help to alleviate health problems that were not disclosed at the time. “As a humble and very private man who has always been, he would never complain or ask for help. But in order to take care of him, our family has serious needs. During the past two years, my father has suffered from medical problems that lead to serious physical limitations. Unfortunately, due to financial difficulties, he has not been able to receive adequate treatment, ”said the text of his request. His health insurance did not cover the costs of his treatment, and hundreds of fans and artists (such as guitarist Pat Metheny or saxophonist Joe Lovano, who made donations worth $ 71,000) contributed their bit to support him.
Jimmy Cobb has worked with John Coltrane, Cannonball Adderley, Wes Montgomery, Dizzy Gillespie, Dinah Washington, Pearl Bailey and many other famous jazz names, but his name will always be especially linked to his collaborations with Miles Davis, especially the one that germinated in the legendary “Kind of Blue”, which was recorded at the 30th Street Studio in New York in two sessions during the spring of 1959. There, on March 2, 1959, the A-side of the album was recorded in a first session (the tracks “So what”, “Freddie freeloader” and “Blue in green”), and in a second session, on April 22, face B (with “Flamenco sketches” and “All blues”).
Cobb, who started out as a self-taught drummer in his native Washington, recalled those mythical sessions in his memoirs: “On that spring day in 1959, I remember getting up in the morning with some excitement: I had a recording session with Miles Davis; I got dressed and prepared the instrument. I went to the Columbia studio on 30th Street, got the battery in and got it on. I waited for the companions, who were arriving, expectant for what we were going to do. I always liked that church (it refers to the 30th Street Studio, an old temple converted into a studio by the Columbia label), it had fabulous acoustics. We started looking at some songs and, when we got into it, the thing sounded wonderful, with total smoothness. Without making any effort, without tensions, very relaxed. The group sounded compact at all times. How could it sound bad to the musicians there were? At the piano, Bill Evans and Wynton Kelly. Paul Chambers, the best young bassist of all time, and John Coltrane and Cannonball Adderley ».
Many will wonder how it is possible for someone with those credentials to suffer such dramatic financial problems. And the answer was already given by a jazz expert named Ethan Iverson, who discovered that Cobb only made $ 66.67 for the Kind of Blue sessions, and that he has received no royalties for the millions of copies sold throughout these 61 years. Only a few thousand dollars delivered by the Sony label, current owner of the album, for doing promotional interviews to support its reissues.
Cobb also appeared on other Davis albums such as “Sketches of Spain,” “Someday My Prince Will Come,” “Miles Davis at Carnegie Hall,” “In Person Friday and Saturday Nights at the Blackhawk,” “Complete,” “Porgy and Bess “and” Sorcerer “. His last years of activity on stage were mostly used in leading the band So What, which celebrated the 50th anniversary of “Kind of Blue”. .