Arnett Cobb was an American jazz tenor saxophonist known as the “Wild Man of the Tenor Sax” because of his uninhibited stomping style.
Born in Houston, at the age of 15, he traveled with Louisiana bandleader Frank Davis along with Wild Bill Davis up to 1936; then with Milt Larkiin’s band that included Illinois Jacquet, before nally joining up with Lionel Hampton’s band in 1942. He wrote the words and music for the jazz standard “Smooth Sailing” for Ella Fitzgerald’s album Lullabies of Birdland in 1951, which is also featured on this show.
Health issues and a car crash, slowed him down during the 60’s and 70’s but we convinced him in 1980 to come to New Orleans and perform for this production. Shot at Snug Harbor on Frenchmen Street in New Orleans, Arnett is at his best backed up by Ellis Marsalis on piano, Chris Severin on bass and Johnny Vidacovich on drums. We believe this was his last performance for television before his passing at age 70 in 1989.