JESSIE ALLEN COOPER -- BIOGRAPHY
Multi-ethnic, world recording artist, Jessie Allen Cooper, has been producing
his own unique brand of music since the early l980s. Although his studies have
included most musical genres -- classical, jazz, rock, blues -- he has chosen to
forge a distinctive personality, which has become evident in all of his work
since his l984 debut, "Heaven Sent."
Cooper's journey began on March 23, l954, when he was born to Lucille and
Clair Cooper, the oldest of three brothers.
He is a 7th generation American who traces his family history back to one of
our Founding Fathers, Benjamin Franklin.
His father died when Jessie was l3 , and he feels that not having a strong
father figure helped him develop his artistic persona.
"My brother and I were really into music at a young age," Cooper
says. "We both had paper routes and every penny we made was spent on the
latest 45 rpm record."
At the age of l5, Jessie realized that music was going to be the main focus
of his life. He started on harmonica, after being inspired by the legendary John
Mayall, followed by a passion for the saxophone. He deepened his study of jazz
improvisation and composition at Western Washington State University.
A highly unique facet of Cooper's music is his early concern with the
environment. To him, it seemed only natural that the sounds of nature be
incorporated into his composing. Cooper feels that the pace of our lives and the
size of our cities have caused a lot of people to lose touch with the
environment. He says: "I've made it one of my objectives to capture
environmental soundscapes and blend them into my compositions to create highly
Right from his very first recording, "Heaven Sent" , it was
apparent that Jessie Allen Cooper had a style all his own. Utilizing the
environmental sounds he heard around him, he created such masterpieces as "MorningTide,"
"In The Night," "By The Ocean," as track titles for that
For the l987 release, "Soft Wave" (Narada), he takes his concept
further -- "Not just the environmental sounds themselves," Cooper
says, "but polished melodic music along with them." His l993
follow-up, "Moment in Time," is yet another step forward in Cooper's
remarkable musical life- journey. Here, in addition to spotlighting some of the
key musicians from his own band, several notable guest instrumentalists were
featured: the Rippingtons' guitarist, Russ Freeman; Brazilian guitarist Ricardo
Silvera; Japanese koto player, Osamu Kitajima; and shakuhachi flutist Masakazu
The year 200l brought two new works to life: "Sound of Feelings,"
an audio sound track for Dr. Lucia Capacchione's book, "Living With
Feeling: The Art of Emotional Expression," on which Cooper not only plays
but is the composer or co-composer of all the music, and produced and arranged
the entire work.
His most recent contribution is the ground-breaking work,
"9-ll-200l (The First Four Days)", conceived in the four days
following the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Bringing
together a band of faithful accompanists, plus two female vocalists, the suite
has a sense of a dual reality -- east meets west and destruction meets healing.
Such in the innovative nature of this multi-faceted artist, wearing his
several hats as comfortably as his trademark beret fits onto his ever-busy head.
visit Jessie's site:
Cooper Sound Waves