He died yesterday, but I figured it's not too late to mark here my own farewell to the great jazz drummer, Jimmy Cobb. He was 91, died in Manhattan, and was the last surviving member (for the last 30 years!) of what's often called Miles Davis' First Great Sextet (or Quintet).
What does this have to do with writing? Nothing much. Except that Kind of Blue (1959) and Sketches of Spain (1960) and "Naima" from John Coltrane's Giant Steps (1959) -- to name but a few and the most famous of the things Cobbs played on -- are albums and pieces I never tire of listening to and that I find perfect as accompaniments to late-night dreamy thinking, the kind of thinking often conducive to useful ideas. I never write with music on, but playing music before or after writing, to get in a mood or to wind down from writing or just to provoke the imagination in its wanderings, is something I do frequently, and many pieces Cobb played on during his long career I find ideal for pre-writing or post-writing music.
Anyway, thanks for all the great stuff, Jimmy.