Jimmy Cobb Dies: Jazz Drummer Who Worked With Miles Davis Was 91

Jazz drummer Jimmy Cobb died on May 24, 2020 at age 91. (Credit: Shutterstock)

Jimmy Cobb, a prolific jazz drummer who most famously performed on the Miles Davis studio album Kind of Blue, has died at age 91.

Cobb passed away on Sunday, May 24, at his home in Manhattan from lung cancer, his wife Eleana Tee Cobb told NPR.

Born in Washington D.C. in 1929, Cobb started playing professionally as a teenager. He left DC in 1950, and began to tour with saxophonist Earl Bostic.

Cobb would later land gigs with Dinah Washington, Billie Holiday, Dizzy Gillespie, Sarah Vaughan, and others.

Related Story: Betty Wright Dies: ‘Clean Up Woman’ Singer Was 66

The drummer was the last surviving member of what’s often called Miles Davis’ First Great Sextet.

Together the sextet recorded Davis’ renowned 1959 album Kind Of Blue. Released on Aug. 17, 1959, the album sold more than 4 million copies and remains the best selling jazz record of all time, according to Billboard.

Cobb also released a number of solo albums. In 2009, he received the National Endowment for the Arts NEA Jazz Masters award.

“I am humbled to be included among the great musicians in our American history,” he said in a statement on the NEA website. “I express my gratitude to these jazz giants, many of whom were close friends, who shaped this great American art form called jazz and ultimately helped to shape my life as well. I thank the NEA committee for recognizing America’s jazz masters and the art of jazz itself and I am honored and privileged to be a part of this legacy.”

Jimmy Cobb is survived by his wife and their two daughters.