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Jimmy Cobb's Mob: Only for the Pure at Heart

Joel Roberts By

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As the man who replaced Philly Joe Jones and preceded Tony Williams in the Miles Davis Sextet, Jimmy Cobb has as impressive a pedigree as any drummer in jazz. The sole surviving member of the classic Kind of Blue ensemble, Cobb has over the years played with most of the major figures in modern jazz including Cannonball Adderley, Wes Montgomery, John Coltrane, and Sarah Vaughan.

Remarkably, this new release on the new Fable label, is Cobb's first as a leader. And he doesn't disappoint, proving himself as smooth, agile, and, when necessary, explosive as ever. Few drummers have as complete a command of their instrument as Cobb, and few can draw on such far-reaching knowledge of the jazz idiom. Veteran Richard Wyands (one of jazz's more underrated pianists) and talented youngsters Peter Bernstein on guitar and John Webber on bass mesh smoothly with this drum master.

The quartet works through a nicely varied set featuring the standards "Stars Fell on Alabama" and "Smile," Jimmy Heath's "Gingerbread Boy," and three tunes by trumpeter Tex Allen, including the title cut. With Bernstein taking the lead on most of the tunes here, the album favorably recalls Cobb's excellent 1960s sides with Wes Montgomery and the Wynton Kelly Trio.


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