Thursday, June 22, 2017

Emmet Cohen Featuring Jimmy Cobb

Cellar Live Records
By Ric Bang
Buy CD: Emmet Cohen Featuring Jimmy Cobb

Jazz connoisseurs and/or senior citizens are most likely to be familiar with Jimmy Cobb. He was born back in 1929, which makes him a senior senior citizen; he also was the drummer in Miles Davis’ most famous group.

Emmet Cohen, a contemporary pianist, composer and teacher, has created a “Master  Legacy Series” that features famed jazz artists. This album, honoring Cobb, is his first release.

Cobb has a huge discography: During his more than 70 years of performing, he has worked and recorded with dozens of instrumental and vocal jazz greats. As one would expect, he also has performed hundreds of tunes from the Great American Songbook, along with countless classic jazz charts. This release is limited to 11 tracks, but they’re all choice. One, “Concerto for Cobb,” is a Cohen original.

The basic configuration is a trio: Cohen (piano), Yashushi Nakamura (bass) and Cobb (drums). Alto saxophonist Godwin Louis guests on two tracks. It’s an excellent unit.

Cohen is a comprehensive pianist; he covers all styles. He’s modern, but not a bopper; his touch is superb and gentle. Nakamura keeps a smooth steady beat, and also is a marvelous and inventive soloist. As for Cobb, he remains one of the tastiest swingers you’ve ever heard. He drives any group with which he plays, but never overplays.

This tribute to Cobb marks a solid beginning for Cohen’s Master Legacy Series. I look forward to more.

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