Bob Cooper

Bob Cooper, like many West Coast tenor-saxophonists, was inspired by Lester Young’s velvety, vanilla-scented tone, harmonic ingenuity, and sinuous technique. Coop is the best introduction to this artist. Contemporary Records released The Music of Bob Cooper in 1958. Although he was initially known for his work with the Stan Kenton Orchestra’s reed section, he went on to become an all-purpose session player, playing in many studio orchestras and maintaining a consistent presence on the West Coast’s bop-inflected mainstream jazz scene. Born December 6, 1925, in Pittsburgh, PA. He studied clarinet in highschool and took up the tenor-saxophone in 1941. Soon, he was operating under the guidance of Lucky Thompson and Don Byas. In 1945, he joined the Stan Kenton Orchestra and later added the oboe. Coop married June Christy in 1947, one of Kenton’s most talented vocalists. He played alongside Art Pepper and Nat King Cole while he was with Kenton. Cooper left Kenton in 1951 and became a West Coast session musician. He absorbed new styles of bop and refined his musicianship while he was free from Kenton. Cooper added the English and bass clarinets to his repertoire of wind instruments. He also had the flute and baritone and soprano alto saxes. While recording with Shelly Manne, singer Annie Ross, and guitarist Barney Kessel during this time, Lester Young, and Sonny Stitt became his new sax idols. This placed him in the same league as Stan Getz, Brew Moore, and Zoot Sims. He had already joined Pete Rugolo, Shorty Rogers and was recording his first Capitol sessions. He played with Howard Rumsey’s Lighthouse All Stars at Hermosa Beach and with June Christy during the second half. He collaborated in 1956 with Buddy Rich, drummer, Bud Shank, tenor and tenor saxophonists, Bill Perkins, and progressive clarinetist Jimmy Giuffre. They were part of a group that supported the R

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