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Miles Davis' 'Kind of Blue' Drummer Jimmy Cobb Dies of Lung Cancer at 91 – What He Is Famous For

Olowokandi Fiyin
May 26, 2020
05:53 A.M.
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Iconic drummer Jimmy Cobb, who was a member of Miles Davis’ first great sextet band has passed away at the age of 91 from lung cancer. We take a look at his adventurous and impactful life.

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After a long, fulfilling life, the world finally said goodbye to jazz iconic Jimmy Cobb on May 24, as disclosed by his wife, Eleana Tee Cobb.

American jazz drummer Jimmy Cobb, who played on the Miles Davis album 'Kind Of Blue,' posses for a portrait on September 17, 2009 | Photo: Getty Images

American jazz drummer Jimmy Cobb, who played on the Miles Davis album 'Kind Of Blue,' posses for a portrait on September 17, 2009 | Photo: Getty Images

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During an interview with NPR, Mrs. Cobb revealed that her famous drummer husband passed away in his home in Manhattan at the ripe age of 91 from lung cancer.

Cobb actively spent his time teaching master classes at Stanford University, the Brooklyn-Queens Conservatory of Music, and many other notable schools.

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Cobb, who was the last surviving member of Miles Davis' jazz band formed in the mid-1950s, was often regarded as the heartbeat of the group’s most prolific and famous album, titled “Kind of Blue.”

His unique floating touch of cymbal beat and relaxed walking bassline propelled the 1959 album to become one of the most influential and famous jazz albums in history.

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As noted by Daily Mail, the album is believed to be the best-selling jazz record of all time, selling about 5 million copies alongside being RIAA certified Quintuple Platinum.

Apart from working with the best of the best in Miles Davis’ band, Cobb was notable for his works with household names in the industry like Billie Holiday, Dinah Washington, Sarah Vaughan, among others.

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According to The Guardian, Cobb was born in Washington D.C in 1929 as Wilbur James Cobb. At the age of 13, he bought his first drum set, after working as a busboy at a drugstore lunch counter.

All Music recalled that by 18, he began playing professionally, earning himself high profile gigs with the likes of Pearl Bailey, Leo Parker, and others.

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Three years later, he relocated to New York and began a touring career with Earl Bostic. Although most of his life he served in the background as a drummer with others, Cobb didn’t record as a leader until later in his career, as seen on his website.

His last album, “Remembering U,” was released in September 2019. Aside from performing, Cobb actively spent his time teaching master classes at Stanford University, the Brooklyn-Queens Conservatory of Music, and many other notable schools.

Jimmy Cobb performs with the Roy Hargrove Quintet during the Blue Note Jazz Festival at Central Park SummerStage, New York, New York, June 6, 2015 | Photo: Getty Images

Jimmy Cobb performs with the Roy Hargrove Quintet during the Blue Note Jazz Festival at Central Park SummerStage, New York, New York, June 6, 2015 | Photo: Getty Images

The music legend is survived by his wife and their two daughters. His legacy will, no doubt, be remembered forever.

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