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Artist Profiles

Pete Cosey

By Published: May 30, 2008
It's not that Cosey has been away, but his profile appears low due to a scarcity of recorded work over the decades. He briefly played with Herbie Hancock, replaced Bill Frisell in Power Tools and started his own band The Children of Agharta, in 2001, dedicated to the electro-funk repertoire of 1970s Miles. Despite remaining a regular gigger in Chicago (and even occasionally here in New York), Cosey hasn't been very fortunate in the documentation of his evolution over the last three decades. Recently, he's recorded an album of Miles material with drummer J.T. Lewis, for the Japanese market, and he's also preparing some original material for a long-awaited solo album. Right now, Cosey leads a trio with bassist Kenny Wiggins (aka Caprice) and drummer Ken Frydrich.

Another facet of Cosey's current work is the leading of workshop sessions in schools, around a wide spread of the Chicago suburbs. Not limiting himself to jazz, he's also harking back to the electric work he did with Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf, from the pre-Miles days when Cosey was a session employee of Chess Records. "I utilize more of a concert format, with some explanation, but with more of an emphasis on the music. There's less talk than in the usual lectures, because I find you can lose their attention!"

Cosey's last gig in New York was with his Children Of Agharta, in June of 2007, but he's very keen on bringing his new trio to town, and is even contemplating the possibility of running two bases, oscillating between New York and Chicago. Selfishly speaking, this sounds like a fine idea, for New Yorkers at least.

Recommended Listening:

Various Miles From India: A Celebration of the Music of Miles Davis (Times Square, 2006-7)

Miles Davis Agharta (Columbia—CBS/Sony, 1975)

Miles Davis Pangaea (CBS/Sony, 1975)

Miles Davis Dark Magus: Live at Carnegie Hall (CBS-Sony, 1974)

Miles Davis Get Up With It (Columbia, 1973)

John Klemmer Blowin' Gold (Cadet/Concept—Chess, 1969)

Photo Credit

Top: Andre Jackson

Bottom: Audrey Cho

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