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Emmet Cohen Featuring Jimmy Cobb: Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1

Dan McClenaghan By

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Pianist Emmet Cohen aims to honor the jazz masters. He starts with drummer Jimmy Cobb, on the Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1, a mostly piano trio affair featuring Cobb himself in the the drummer's chair.

Cobb is best known for his participation in one of the jazz world's most famous recording, Miles Davis' Kind Of Blue (Columbia Records, 1959). He also played on Davis Someday My Prince will Come (1961), Sketches Of Spain (1960), Porgy And Bess, 1959), all on Columbia Records. All that went down a half a century back, but Cobb has remained, and remains, in his eighth decade, active, most recently with his Cobb's Mob band. His approach is one of a floating, deeply swinging groove, always tasteful, always elevating the music. And in terms of tributes, he sat in with his drum magic on pianist Ron DiSalvio's Essence Of Green (Origin "Records, 2007), a superb but underrecognized tip of the hat to .

The youthful Emmet Cohen—he is in his mid-twenties—is a traditionalist. He respects the jazz that came before him, with an effervescent style that that can be compared to that of Oscar Peterson. He has the technique and the flash and the exuberance, along with the clean, pristine touch, to back that comparison up; and with Master Legacy Series, Vol. 1 he proves he possesses a strong conceptual approach and a distinctive and personal way with the pen, on the three Cohen originals included in a set of standards that are perfect in their presentation of Jimmy Cobb's mastery of the drums.

Alto saxophonist Godwin Louis sits in on two tunes, Cohen's "Folk Song" and "Hard Times," displaying a "Paul Desmond, dry martini tone," matching Cohen in technique and personality.

Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1, featuring Jimmy Cobb—who is, as always, at the top of his game—swings, big time. It is marvelous way to begin a new and hopefully ongoing project to honor the legends.

Track Listing: On The Trail; Tin Tin Deo; Two Bass Hit; When I Fall In Love; Folk Song; Interlude; Flamingo; If This Isn't Love;Mr. Robinson; Hard Times; Concerto For Cobb.

Personnel: Emmet Cohen: piano; Jimmy Cobb: drums; Yasushi Nakamura: bass; Godwin Louis: alto saxophone (5, 10).

Title: Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1 | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Cellar Live

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