Robert Cousineau

Biography by

Strictly a swing disciple on drums, Robert "Cus" Cousineau seems to have done most of gigging and recording in California. His formal studies included a period at the Westlake School of Music…
Read Full Biography

Artist Biography by

Strictly a swing disciple on drums, Robert "Cus" Cousineau seems to have done most of gigging and recording in California. His formal studies included a period at the Westlake School of Music in Los Angeles prior to the second World War, followed by stints with bandleaders such as the influential Boyd Raeburn and the popular Jimmy Dorsey.

Cousineau's presence on a Burt Bales album entitled Jazz From the San Francisco Waterfront also hints at a northern California home base for the drummer during the '50s and '60s, after which very little has been heard about him.

One of Cousineau's inspirations as a musician would have had to have been his grandfather, supposedly proficient on both banjo and violin. Yet eventually the lad's musical heroes were jazz drummers, not players from any of the musical styles his grandfather had been interested in. Chick Webb's recordings made Cousineau want to become a drummer, and he maintained a consistent focus on this reliable interpretation of rhythm throughout his career. He also dabbled on the vibraphone and can be heard in this capacity on a few early Paul Desmond tracks reissued on the Philology label. In the late '60s, Cousineau kept the beat for several Oakland rehearsal big bands which were important in the development of dynamic trumpeter Jon Faddis.