Avant-garde jazz pianist, composer, and instrument maker who is highly individualistic. Cooper Moore, a pianist, composer and instrument builder, is highly respected for his avant-garde music. He was born in the New York loft scene of 1970s. Moore, aka Cooper-Moore, was born Gene Y. Ashton, in Loudon County Virginia, in 1946. He began playing the piano at age eight, and soon performed at various church functions and other local events. Moore was inspired early by the works of Charles Mingus and Jaki Byard. He moved to Boston in 1967, and studied at Berklee College of Music. He met David S. Ware, a saxophonist, while he was in Boston. They formed the progressive Apogee trio together and began performing all over the city. Moore and Ware moved to New York City in 1973. They shared a house on Canal Street with other similarly-minded contemporaries like Alan Braufman and Jimmy Hopps. Moore recorded his debut album on Braufman’s Valley of Search in 1975. Moore also began to build his own instruments using found wood and metal pieces. Moore returned to Virginia in the mid-70s to raise his family and continue to build instruments. He also worked briefly as a teacher. He would return to New York ten years later, after changing his name to Cooper Moore. By the early ’90s, he was once again an established performer on the avant-garde scene, working steadily with artists like Ware, bassist William Parker, multi-instrumentalist Bill Cole, and drummer Susie Ibarra. His solo recording debut was with 2000’s Deep In the Neighborhood of History and Influence, which was a live album that was recorded at The Pizza Joint in Guelph (Ontario, Canada). With bassist Tom Abbs, drummer Chad Taylor and guitarist Chad Taylor, he formed the TriptychMyth trio, which released a self-titled album, followed by The Beautiful, in 2005. He collaborated with Assif Tahar on many albums including Tells Untold in 2005 and Lost Brother (2006). For 2011’s Planetary Unknown (which would be his final album with Ware) he reunited with Parker and saxophonist Ware. More albums with Parker followed, including 2015’s For Those Who Are, Still and 2017’s Meditation/Resurrection. Allmusic

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