3 Great Jimmy Cobb Licks
by Tim Lake
As drummers go, Jimmy Cobb is often overlooked but I appreciate his playing more, every time I come back to "Kind of Blue." He is one of the elder statesmen of jazz and still playing at 91! What a legend! In addition to his time with the Miles Davis Quintet, he also played with Sonny Stitt, Sarah Vaughan, Wes Montgomery, among many others.
His style is understated but very musical and full of great jazz vocabulary. He is great at subtly supporting the soloist and propelling the time forward, with well placed kicks, accents and fills.
Here are three delightful licks that Cobb plays behind Coltrane's solo on "So What", subtle but wonderfully effective.They are all perfectly placed and help to bridge between the change in chords, providing a bit of tension and release.
The second one plays with a 3 over 2 poly-rhythm, played between the snare and the rack tom. While the last one uses a four beat grouping of triplets that displaces across the bar. Both are simple devices but executed perfectly.
Try to work these into your own vocabulary and find ways to vary them. Use them as a springboard for your own ideas.
The whole album is worth studying and listening to in detail too, if you haven't already.
This was originally posted on "Jazz Drumming Blog" back in 2011.
Download the pdfJimmy Cobb So What Licks.pdf (26.1 KiB)
Kind of Blue