Cobb was the last surviving member of Miles Davis's acclaimed sextet that also featured saxophonists John Coltrane and Julian "Cannonball" Adderley, pianist Bill Evans, and bassist Paul Chambers.
In addition to Kind of Blue, Cobb's playing also appears on Davis albums Sketches of Spain, Someday My Prince Will Come, Porgy and Bess, and Sorcerer.
Born James Wilbur Cobb in 1929, the artist worked as a busboy to save money for his first drumkit and began performing regularly soon after. Gigs with Earl Bostic and Dinah Washington led to work with Cannonball Adderley, ahead of taking his spot behind the kit in Davis's sextet.
Cobb's credits as a sideman also include work with Coltrane, Wes Montgomery, Art Pepper, Wayne Shorter, Wynton Kelly, Sarah Vaughan and many more.
He made his debut as a bandleader with 1983's So Nobody Else Can Hear and continued to perform and teach until the end of his life. Cobb's most recent album, This I Dig of You, arrived last year.
Find tributes to Cobb below.
JIMMY COBB— Nate Smith (@natesmithdrums) May 25, 2020
A Master. A profound influence on my playing. Thank you for the music, sir. Rest In Peace. pic.twitter.com/SnuCaWwBmB
RIP JIMMY COBB! The sadness the jazz community feels is profound. We lost the legend Jimmy Cobb, the last surviving member of Miles Davis' #KindOfBlue. Cobb was an innovator, statesman of jazz & mentor to generations of drummers. He pioneered the style. Blessings to the family ❤️ pic.twitter.com/NWdh4dZUBj— The Soul Rebels (@SoulRebels) May 25, 2020
The news of Jimmy Cobb's passing is sad. I offer condolences to his loved ones. Jimmy Cobb was one of the handful of drummers who changed the music indelibly. Read Brad's full note: https://t.co/GAQY0jIQzN— Brad Mehldau (@bradmehldau) May 25, 2020
RIP Jimmy Cobb, man responsible for the cymbal heard round the world [beginning of So What from Miles Davis]— Jonwayne - twitch.tv/saturnmane (@jonwayne) May 25, 2020
We will miss you Jimmy Cobb- played drums on so many great jazz recordings,including one of my favourite Miles Davis records 'Sketches of Spain' pic.twitter.com/9BjIHlViv5— Stephen Perkins (@stephenperkins) May 25, 2020