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Jimmy Cobb (1929-2020)

Jimmy Cobb (1929-2020)

Jimmy Cobb, a drummer whose sensitive, smoldering touch on Miles Davis albums such as Kind of Blue and Some Day My Prince Will Come gave the trumpeter's masterful sextet and quintet a sheer, elegant quality, died on May 24. He was 91. Jimmy began his recording career on Dinah Washington 78s in the late 1940s followed by alto saxophonist Earl Bostic in the early 1950s. He then recorded LPs with Cannonball Adderley and his brother Nat throughout the 1950s. In ...

Another big loss for jazz

Another big loss for jazz

Drummer Jimmy Cobb, for 29 years the only surviving member of trumpeter Miles Davis' Kind of Blue sextet, died yesterday at his home in Manhattan. He was 91 and had been battling lung cancer. Cobb was the fourth NEA Jazz Master to pass away in 2020. In addition to the seminal Kind of Blue album, he was the drummer on Miles' Sketches of Spain, Someday My Prince Will Come, Miles Davis at Carnegie Hall, 1958 Miles, Jazz at the Plaza, ...

Jazz musicians silenced by coronavirus (updated)

Jazz musicians silenced by coronavirus (updated)

Here's a listing of jazz-related deaths from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), updated as we receive them. Our profound sympathies to their families, friends and fans as we remember the musical legacies they have given us. Argentina-born jazz saxophonist Marcelo Peralta, died in Madrid on March 10. He was 59. Peralta moved to Spain in 1996. Congolese singer Arlus Mabele, the king of soukous, an Afro-Caribbean dance rhythm similar to the rhumba, died March 19 in Paris. He was 66. New ...

Lee Konitz (1927-2020)

Lee Konitz (1927-2020)

Lee Konitz, an alto saxophonist who helped develop an East Coast jazz style in the late 1940s that writers labeled “cool jazz" and went on to establish a sound in Stan Kenton's early 1950s orchestra while exploring free jazz in small groups throughout his career, died on April 15. He was 92. Lee's cool jazz was marked by a drier sound and an absence of the blues. As Lee mentioned to me over a 2013 breakfast during an interview for ...

Lee Konitz, 1927-2020

Lee Konitz, 1927-2020

Lee Konitz died today in a New York City hospital. He was 92. Known primarily for the individualism of his alto saxophone work, Konitz in his later years also played soprano saxophone. Using aspects of phrasing, rhythm and tonal quality adapted from the great tenor saxophonist Lester Young, Konitz in the 1940s developed into one of the most distinctive soloists in jazz. His mid-forties recordings with pianist and composer Lennie Tristano influenced dozens of musicians who wanted to develop apart ...

Betty Bennett (1921-2020)

Betty Bennett (1921-2020)

Betty Bennett, who in the 1940s sang with bands led by Alvino Rey, Claude Thornhill and Charlie Ventura before moving to Los Angeles and recording vocal albums for Trend, Atlantic, United Artists and Kapp, died April 7. She was 98. Betty was married to bassist Iggy Shevak, pianist Andre Previn and guitarist Mundell Lowe. Betty left Hamburg, Iowa, for New York in 1941, determined to become a big band singer. After serving as a WAVE (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency ...

Ellis Marsalis (1934-2020)

Ellis Marsalis (1934-2020)

Ellis Marsalis, an elegant jazz pianist who chose to remain in his native New Orleans for much of his career while raising a family that included musician sons Wynton, Branford, Delfeayo and Jason, died on April 1. He was 85.  Marsalis wasn't widely known among jazz fans outside of New Orleans for many years, largely because of his decision to become an educator at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, the University of New Orleans, and Xavier University of ...

Ellis Marsalis Is Gone

Ellis Marsalis Is Gone

The death this week of Ellis Marsalis recalls dozens of enounters with him when he was one of New Orleans’ premier jazz musicians. Long before Ellis became famous as the father of Wynton, Branford, Jason and Delfeo, he established himself as a nonpareil pianist and educator. I remember hearing the the young Marsalis when he was a key member of alto saxophonist Al Belletto’s sextet in the 1960s and being spellbound by the intricacies he and Belletto wove in their ...


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