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Jimmy Cobb: This I Dig of You (Smoke Sessions)

A review of the 90-year-old drummer's album

Jimmy Cobb, This I Dig of You
The cover of This I Dig of You by Jimmy Cobb

Is there a ride cymbal more integral to solid groove-making on more jazz recordings and performances than the one(s) played by drummer Jimmy Cobb, the last surviving musician from the sessions for Miles’ Kind of Blue? Cobb, also heard with the likes of Dizzy Gillespie, Dinah Washington, Sarah Vaughan, John Coltrane, and Cannonball Adderley over the decades, creates a special kind of graceful, creative, forward-moving swing when he locks in with a bassist and rhythm section (as I discovered firsthand, playing with the master trappist at a 2000 memorial concert for Nat Adderley in Florida).

At 90, Cobb still has it, as he handily demonstrates on This I Dig of You, leading and driving a quartet on an uncluttered, frills-free program dominated by standards, some of which he’s been playing for decades. For these warmly recorded, intimate-sounding recordings, he’s joined by several musicians with whom he’s previously collaborated: pianist Harold Mabern and two former students of Cobb’s at the New School in New York, bassist John Webber and guitarist Peter Bernstein.

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Philip Booth

Philip Booth is a longtime arts journalist and bass player based in Florida. Formerly the pop music critic for the Tampa Tribune, he has contributed to many national publications, recently including the Washington PostJazziz, and Relix. His byline also has appeared in DownBeat, Bass Player, Billboard, Variety, Spin, Rolling Stone, and several academic journals. The debut CD from his band, Acme Jazz Garage, gained airplay on about 35 radio stations across the US.