I checked out Jimmy Cobb last night(www.jimmycobb.net) at the Iridium, first set. It was Cedar Walton, Buster Williams and Jovan Jackson plus Jimmy. Their first tune was a blues, which is always a sign to me of great musical expression to come. I like Cedar Walton very much. His playing is joyful and mischievous. (Cedar played on Mosaic– which is my absolute FAVORITE record by Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers.) This evening when Cedar soloed, he and Jimmy were so connected – Buster Williams, holding it DOWN, slippin in color and groove.
Jimmy has a really unique and individual ride cymbal approach. The way he outlines the rhythm is interesting, and there is so much subtlety to his playing. He was using a Artisan, but he spent alot of time riding on a 18inch crash that had a cool presence. I was sitting close enough to see his feet. Leather flat loafers:) He sat so relaxed using a combination of heel toe and the heel raised jump on hi hat foot. I was really surprised to see how LIGHT he feathered. The beater came back millimeters from the head, and it seemed as if only his big toe was pulsing the 4 on the floor.
I really like how melodically Jimmy plays. I could hear him setting up figures, and quoting pieces of tunes and arrangements from an era he LIVED through. I could hear echoes of Miles in his playing. In addition to being very melodic Jimmy is still bringing the big fire when needed and the quiet fire when necessary. Ultra dynamic.
“This next piece I find unusual because it was written by a man of the skins and it is a ballad” joked Cedar Walton (the audience chuckles.)
Jimmy’s ballad was my favorite tune of the set because Jimmy did this big swoopy brush pattern that set up a powerful time feel then he went to sticks and implied 2. It was great.
On the break I said hello, geeked out by pulling my sticks out of my purse to show Jimmy since I have been playing and LOVING his signature stick from: I mostly love what the tip does with my cymbals, but I sometimes find myself flipping it to use the butt end. It was interesting to see that Jimmy also did that too when he played. We talked a little, then I bounced. Good times!