Arnett Cobb: The Eely One - JazzWax

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June 18, 2010


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"Very Saxy" is a great album -- just righteously robust and beefy. The players are all obviously enjoying themselves. I bought it years ago because Hawkins and Davis were on it; I knew of Buddy Tate but I'm not sure I had ever heard of Cobb. I became a Cobb fan immediately. For me, great tenor sax is defined by tone as much or more than technical facility musical complexity -- and Cobb has that tone that for me settles right inside somewhere close to the heart. Or somewhere lower -- really good tenor sax makes me want to go find my girlfriend!!

Ed Leimbacher

When in need of saxual healin', Cobb's the nobs. And knowing he played in pain propped up by crutches for way too many years makes the concept of "tough" tenor just inadequate.

A bit ironic, though, that Bud Freeman--awholenuther tenor sort--created his own signature tune called "The Eel." Which could have led to a different head-to-head, a dual deal d'eel duel. (Sorry, couldn't resist.)


"dual deal d'eel duel."

No shame -- you win the thread!! Unless somebody tops you. . . .

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  • Marc Myers writes regularly for The Wall Street Journal and is author of "Anatomy of a Song" (Grove) and "Why Jazz Happened." Founded in 2007, JazzWax is a two-time winner of the Jazz Journalists Association's best blog award.

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