Woodwind virtuoso Bob Cooper hails from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, originally; but has spent most of his adult life in Los Angeles. Primarily famous as a tenor sax man, his skills also include composing/arranging and improvisational use of the oboe.
Coop’s early tenor influences include Zoot Sims, Sonny Stitt and Stan Getz. His big influences as a composer encompass Basie, Ellington and Goodman, who remain inspirations to Coop and indeed virtually the entire jazz world.
Bob Cooper’s work in the forties and fifties included a ’45 to ’51 stint with Stan Kenton. It was during this time that he met and married the band/s star vocalist, June Christy, in 1946. Subsequest years found him working with Jerry Gray (1953), Shorty Rogers and Pete Rugulo (1954); before joining the Lighthouse All Stars. In 1956, he took a leave of absence to tour Europe and Africa. Cooper’s work with Howard Rumsey’s All Stars, continued in the ’60’s; but he found himself devoting increasingly more time to composing and arranging doing sound tracks for films and television and studio recordings.
Bob Cooper is missed, for he was a vital force on the Los Angeles jazz scene. He authored ‘Jazz Development for the Saxophone’ and ‘Tenor Sax Jazz Impressions’ (Trend), ‘Bob Cooper Plays the Music of Michel Legrand’ (Discovery) and ‘In a Mellow Tone’ (Contemporary).
We are sorry to report that Bob passed away in 1993.