May 30, 2012 – Peter Palus “Pete” Cosey was born on October 9th 1943 in Chicago. He was the only child of a musical family. His father and mother wrote for Louis Jordan and Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson and his father played for Sidney Bechet and Josephine Baker.
In the early years of the 1960s Pete became a key session musician at Chess Records, appearing on recordings by Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, the Rotary Connection, and Etta James, and he worked with the great Phil Cohran in the Artistic Heritage Ensemble.
Pete was also an early member of The Pharaohs and a group with drummer Maurice White and bassist Louis Satterfield that eventually evolved into Earth, Wind & Fire.
Yet he is probably most remembered for his genius work with Miles Davis in the early to mid 70s when Davis broke up the band in 1975. Pete played on the famous bandleader/trumpeter’s heaviest, most electric avantgarde albums, including Agharta, Pangaea, and Get Up With It. His fiercely flanged and distorted guitar work bore more than a few comparisons to Jimi Hendrix.
Afterwards Pete continued to appear on records, including Herbie Hancock’s Future Shock and an album with Japanese saxophonist Akira Sakata. In 2003, he scored a short film, directed by Eli Mavros, Alone Together and in 2004, he appeared in the Godfathers and Sons episode of Martin Scorsese’s documentary series The Blues.
In 2007-08, Pete contributed to 5 tracks on the CD Miles from India, which celebrates the music of Miles Davis: “Ife (Fast)”, “It’s About That Time”, “Miles Runs the Voodoo Down”, “Great Expectations”, and “Ife (Slow)”.
On May 30, 2012, Pete Cosey died at age 68 from complications following surgery.