Jimmy Cobb, the legendary drummer and the last living member of Miles Davis' jazz ensemble, died on May 24, Sunday. He was part of the 1959 album "Kind of Blue," the most popular recording in jazz history. The percussionist was 91.

The announcement was posted by the late drummer's wife, Eleana Tee Cobb, on Facebook. He was at home in Manhattan, New York, during his passing. He had lung cancer. Along with his wife, he was survived by his two daughters, Serena and Jaime.

"Kind of Blue" is trumpeter Miles Davis' album released on August 17, 1959. The LP is recognized as a timeless masterpiece being one of the greatest jazz albums of all time. The rest of the sextet was alto saxophonist Julian "Cannonball" Adderly, tenor saxophonist John Coltrane, bassist Paul Chambers, pianists Bill Evans and Wynton Kelly. 

The 46-minute album was received with much acclaim from critics, and the tracks were widely played on the radio when it was released. It was born when jazz was improvised from the popular bebop style to a cooler, newer, and less structured approach. The LP transformed modern music and is considered as a protest record for African American men for having broken stereotypes regarding black humanity and jazz music.

As of March 2019, "Kind of Blue" has sold more than five million copies worldwide and is selling 5,000 more every week. It is a certified quadruple platinum record in the same year and was hailed as a national treasure by the U.S. House of Representatives.

Jimmy Cobb and his career

Jimmy Cobb was born on January 20, 1929, in Washington, D.C. His appreciation of music started when he listened to jazz albums and stayed until the night to hear DJ Symphony Sid perform in New York City. 

Cobb was a self-taught musician and had his first professional recording with Earl Bostic. The drummer worked with jazz greats Billie Holiday, Dinah Washington, Pearl Bailey, Cannonball Adderly, Clark Terry, and Dizzy Gillespie. Adderly was responsible for recommending Cobb to Miles Davis in 1957 and soon became part of the First Great Sextet.

The legendary percussionist collaborated with Davis on his several other albums, 1960 "Sketches of Spain," 1961 "Someday My Prince Will Come," 1962 "Miles Davis at Carnegie Hall," "In Person Friday and Saturday Nights at the Blackhawk," "Complete" and 1959 "Porgy and Bess" and "Sorcerer."

In 1963, Cobb moved on from Davis, and he teamed up with Winton Kelly and Paul Chambers under Wes Montgomery. The three recorded several Winton Kelly Trio Albums, and together, they also worked with Kenny Burrell, J.J. Johnson, and others. The trio split in the late '60s.

For nine years, Cobb collaborated with Sarah Vaughn. He then did freelancing gigs from the '70s to '90s with several groups such as The Great Jazz Trio with Nancy Wilson, Ricky Ford, Nat Adderly, Ron Carter, Sonny Stitt, Hank Jones, George Coleman, among numerous other jazz artists all around the world.

It was only in 1983 when he recorded his first album as a bandleader with "So Nobody Else Can Hear." He released his solo album, "Yesterdays," in 2001 when he was 72, which was produced by Eleana Tee.

Jimmy Cobb was a recipient of the Don Redman Heritage Award in 2008. He was also awarded the 2009 National Endowment for the Arts NEA Jass Masters on October 17, 2008, along with five other artists.

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