November 2003

Jimmy Cobb
Cobb's Groove

A jazz heavyweight still pulling no punches is Jimmy Cobb, whose work beyond Miles Davis gets a fraction of the attention it deserves. Cobb's Mob, formed in the mid-'90s, features a sharp younger congress of musicians playing a mix of standards and original tunes. The modern jazz of Cobb's Groove (Milestone) is a quick-reflex art, anchored by the strong rhythm team of pianist Richard Wyands and bassist John Webber but truly distinguished by Peter Bernstein's clean lines on guitar. Serving in a guest capacity-but inevitably stepping into center spotlight-is tenor saxophonist Eric Alexander, who sounds so self-assured in this setting that the album could well be mistaken for his own session. Yet Cobb is unquestionably the man in charge here, his subtle pulse steering the direction of each tune. With its mix of standards and thoughtful, sidemen-penned compositions, this album shows how "ahead" straightahead can be.

Originally published in November 2003
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