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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Spotify playlist: Pete Cosey

Posted By on 06.06.12 at 01:01 PM

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The Chicago guitarist Pete Cosey, who died last Wednesday at 68, was far from a celebrity. Jazz fans know him for his distinctive work with Miles Davis in the 70s, but beyond that his name is unlikely to ring too many bells. Odds are that you've heard at least a little of his work, though, whether you know it or not. As a studio musician at Chess Records he played on some huge R&B hits, including "Rescue Me" by Fontella Bass and "Summertime" by Billy Stewart. In fact, he probably played on hundreds of great records for Chess during the 60s, but because he was a musician for hire, part of the house band, his name rarely appears in recording credits.

If I owned a Chess discography on disc, I might've been able to put together a pretty comprehensive survey of Cosey's recorded work. I don't own one, but because I still wanted to share some examples of his talent and versatility, I created a Spotify playlist. It's obviously limited by the music available on the service—for example, I could only find one track of Cosey's work with the great Chicago trumpeter, composer, and bandleader Phil Cohran—and by the fact that I wanted to be certain that Cosey actually played on every track I selected. I know he played on Little Milton's classic album If Walls Could Talk, but I wasn't able to verify which songs, so I skipped them all. Still, there's plenty of terrific music to dig into.

Today's Tribune includes a formal Cosey obituary. On Thu 6/14 from 4-6 PM a Cosey memorial will be held at the Soka-Gakkai International Buddhist Temple at 1455 S. Wabash.

Today's playlist:

Dub Taylor, Lumière (Sub Rosa)
Mike Osbourne, Outback (FMR)
Jonathan Harvey, Run Before Lightning (Stradivarius)
Frank Sinatra, Ring-a-Ding-Ding (Concord)
Curtis Fuller, Soul Trombone/Cabin in the Sky (Impulse)

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