‘Kind of Blue’ drummer Jimmy Cobb dies aged 91

The last surviving member of Miles Davis’ legendary ensemble has gone.

Drummer Jimmy Cobb, the last surviving member of Miles Davis’ band on the legendary record Kind of Blue, has died. He was 91 years old.

Cobb died of lung cancer on Sunday, May 24 in his Manhattan home, NPR reports.

In January, Cobb’s daughter Serena began a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds for her father’s medical bills. “For the past two years he’s been dealing with some medical issues that have been causing severe challenges for him physically,” she wrote in the campaign’s description.

“Unfortunately he has been unable to receive proper treatment due to financial struggles. Although he has been pushing himself to work in order to get some medical attention while still maintaining daily life… it just isn’t enough.”

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At time of writing, the campaign has raised nearly $95,000 of its $200,000 goal. It is still active and accepting donations.

Cobb, alongside saxophonists John Coltrane and Cannonball Adderley and bassist Paul Chambers, recorded Kind of Blue with Davis in New York City in 1959. The album is widely acknowledged as one of the greatest jazz records of all time, and Cobb would play with Davis on several more albums.

Before that, Cobb backed Dinah Washington, joined Cannonball Adderley and Nat Adderley’s quintet, and played with Stan Getz, Dizzy Gillespie and more. He had moved to New York City from his native Washington DC, where he cut his teeth in the jazz scene.

The prolific drummer worked with numerous musicians and artists after his association with Davis, including Wynton Kelly, Sarah Vaughan, Nancy Wilson more. He also became an educator in his later years. In 2019, he issued three different albums: This I Dig of You for Smoke Sessions Records, the archival release Remembering U featuring the late Roy Hargrove, and Cobb’s Pocket with harmonica player Hendrick Meurkens.

Tributes to Cobb have poured in from the likes of Christian McBride, Terri Lynne Carrington, Charles Lloyd, Nate Smith and Questlove.

RIP, Jimmy Cobb. Revisit Kind of Blue here:

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