Friday, May 28, 2021

Transcription: Jimmy Cobb solo

This week I may finally be getting a handle on this Jimmy Cobb fellow, after 40 years of listening to him. It turns out his records with Wynton Kelly are the ones to listen to. Obvious, but when you're mostly monofocused on a paltry 300? 500? records, there are going to be gaps. 

This is an extended solo from Out Front, from Kelly's record Undiluted. It's a 32 bar tune, and Cobb solos for three choruses. Tempo is in Roy Haynes territory, 283 bpm. It's rather macho— he's on the spot for three choruses and he burns it out in a big way. We talk about “ideas” and “chops” and “musicality”, but there's also a basic jazz musician thing where you just bring it and that's it.  

Still, his phrases are nicely composed, and they're good basic vocabulary at more moderate tempos. You could practice them two or four measures at a time. 

Dynamics are dramatic— the ghosted notes (indicated with parentheses) are extremely soft. So soft I may be missing some things there. 

He keeps the hihat going on beats 2 and 4 for the first chorus, drops it out in the second chorus, and feathers the bass drum for most of the first two A sections of the third chorus. Like a lot of players of this period, this is played mostly with the hands on the drums, with the bass drum used mainly for accents, or as part of worked out licks. I'm not hearing evidence of a lot of rudiments happening— it's mostly accented singles. There are probably doubles happening where there's one or two beats of triplets. At the beginning of the third chorus there are some Flam Accent #2s, or something like it.  

I felt like many two measure phrases started after the down beat, often on the & of 1. 

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