Al Cohn

Al Cohn was a great tenor saxophonist, and an excellent arranger/composer. His fellow musicians loved him greatly. Some of his early gigs were with Joe Marsala (1943), Georgie Auld (1946), Boyd Raeburn (1946), Alvino Rey (1947), and Buddy Rich (1947). Cohn made his first impression when he took over Herbie Steward’s place as one of the “Four Brothers”, Woody Herman’s Second Herd (1948-1949). Cohn was overshadowed by Zoot Sims and Stan Getz during this time, but unlike those two tenors, his contributions to arrangements included “The Goof and I.” Artie Shaw’s brief-lived jazz orchestra in 1949, and then he spent the 1950s very busy as a recording artist, arranger and performer. Cohn formed a quintet along with Zoot Sims in 1956. They continued to perform on an intermittent basis for many decades. Cohn and Zoot Sims had such complementary voices that it was sometimes difficult to distinguish them. Al Cohn continued to play in this manner in the 1960s, although he played less. In the 1970s, Xanadu recorded many great songs for him. Cohn’s last few years saw his tone become darker and more distinct, so he largely stopped writing and concentrated on playing. His bop-based records were great for labels like Prestige Victor, Xanadu and Concord. His son Joe Cohn, a cool-toned guitarist, was a master of the genre. Allmusic

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