The average person has probably never heard of drummer Jimmy Cobb, unless they happened to have a copy of Miles Davis's classic recording, Kind Of Blue. One of the most underrated drummers in Jazz, Jimmy has released a glorious CD which highlights his drumming style to great effect. While Jimmy is not in the super drummer class like Buddy Rich or Gene Krupa, he is very much like drummers Mel Lewis, and Ed Thigpen, and Joe Morello in the sense that they add wonderful colors to the music without imposition.
Delilah features guitarist Peter Bernstein, who is featured prominently throughout the album in a medium tempo vehicle that cascades the listener to a time when Jazz was presented straight up, nice and easy a la Dave Brubeck. Jimmy's drumming offers some elegant stick work that compliment Peter's style of playing. Stars Fell on Alabama showcases Jimmy's ballad playing. Again, behind Peter's smooth approach to the guitar, Jimmy is heard caressing the cymbals as if actually dancing under the stars, and enjoying the festivities. One of my all time favorites, Jimmy Heath's Gingerbread Boy is also featured on this CD. For many years the definitive version for me was Dexter Gordon's. Peter carries the melody while Jimmy negotiates this tricky arrangement. Jimmy can certainly swing and move with the changes, keeping the listeners attention throughout. Pianist Richard Wyands takes an exploratory solo which illustrate the joyous feel of this tune.
This recorded is highly recommended, and hopefully will gain new fans to the drumming of the underrated Jimmy Cobb.