Praised for his “open-time creativity and melodic sense” (Gapplegate Music Reviews), drummer Jeff Cosgrove has pursued a unique improvisational path with varied ensembles, including a trio with Matthew Shipp and William Parker (Alternating Current), another with Frank Kimbrough and Martin Wind (Conversations with Owls), and a quartet playing repertory by the late Paul Motian (Motian Sickness). Projects are also ongoing with Shipp and Mat Maneri, Scott Robinson and Ken Filiano, and rising tenor saxophone star Noah Preminger.
Growing up in the Washington, D.C. area, Cosgrove developed a wide range of musical interests that continue to inform his output. He has worked extensively with blues and rock bands and singer-songwriters, citing B.B. King, Howlin’ Wolf, The Grateful Dead, Wilco, Andrew Bird, Jimi Hendrix and Phish as pivotal influences. His role models in jazz are Motian, Elvin Jones, Joe Chambers, Ben Riley and Roy Haynes. He’s also been fortunate to study with Andrew Cyrille, Matt Wilson, Joe Hunt (Bill Evans), Tony Martucci (Mose Allison/James Moody) and Mike Shepherd (Maynard Ferguson/U.S. Navy Commodores/Barney Kessel).
While Cosgrove has ample experience playing beat-driven music with strict time, he is drawn toward abstraction in his own work, summoning colors and textures on the drum kit, listening deeply to his colleagues as the music flows and evolves. As The Washington Post put it: “Cosgrove’s drumming doesn’t provide the music with an engine so much as a lighthouse.” According to the Frederick News-Post, “Cosgrove reaches so far beyond the parameters of mere beats and time signatures and groove that calling him a drummer is barely the beginning.”
Cosgrove has never lived in New York or any other big music hub, preferring to station himself in rural areas — something that he feels has affected his musical outlook and approach. For 18 years he lived in Shepherdstown, a town of 2,000 in the eastern corner of West Virginia. He currently resides in the slightly larger Middletown, Maryland.
2008/2009 West Virginia Professional Development Grant
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"Four Stars - Jeff Cosgrove ably plays a staring role." -
"...from the opening moments it's like stepping into the middle
of a story about a dream." - Dave Sumner, All About Jazz
"For the Love of Sarah is brilliant!" - Jazz Notes SDP
"It was not intended but turned out one of the best tributes to
century's most outstanding drummer/composer, late Paul
His genuine spirit is deeply reflected in their music." - Kenny
Inaoka, Editor in Chief Jazz Tokyo & Editor of the ECM