b. 25 November 1934, London, England. A skilled, formally trained saxophonist, Cohen made his first impact on the UK jazz scene in the late 60s as both band leader and arranger. His charts ranged widely, being played by the more traditional bands of Humphrey Lyttelton and Chris Barber and by several European radio orchestras. An abiding interest in the music of Duke Ellington led to the formation in 1971 of a big band for recording sessions and occasional public appearances, and later in the decade he was co-founder (with Keith Nichols) of the Midnite Follies Orchestra. This orchestra existed into the early 80s but, thereafter, he continued to arrange, sometimes for his own small groups and also for other large orchestras including the mammoth big band organized by the Rolling Stones’ drummer Charlie Watts in 1985. Cohen retains his dedication to Ellington’s music, appearing as guest conductor at the 1988 Ellington Convention for a performance of ‘Black, Brown And Beige’ which he had recorded in 1972.
Share this page