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Al Cohn

Al Cohn at the Village Jazz Lounge (L.Kolb)
Background information
Born November 24, 1925(1925-11-24)
Origin United States
Died February 15, 1988 (aged 62)
Genres Big band jazz
West coast jazz
Occupations Composer, bandleader, saxophonist
Instruments Tenor saxophone,
Years active 19402 - 1980s
Labels Coral Records, Mercury Records
Associated acts Woody Herman, Zoot Sims, Stan Getz

Al Cohn was an American jazz saxophonist and arranger/composer.



Cohn was initially known in the 1940s for playing in Woody Herman's Second Herd as one of the Four Brothers, along with Zoot Sims, Stan Getz, and Serge Chaloff. Unlike the better known tenors Sims and Getz, Cohn contributed arrangements to the Herman band. Cohn has a reputation as a lyrical flowing soloist.

After leaving the Herman group Cohn went on to play with a variety of other musicians but his best-known association was his long-term partnership with fellow Herman veteran tenor player Sims, beginning with the quintet they co-led in 1956. They continued to play together sporadically until the death of Sims. The high point of their recorded output can be found on "You 'n' Me" a collection of standards and original compositions released on Mercury Records in 1960. The two also played on some of author Jack Kerouac's recordings. The rhythm section on their classic 50s recordings included Mose Allison on piano.

In addition to his work as a jazz tenor saxophonist Al Cohn was a noted arranger, his work included the Broadway productions of "Raisin" and "Sophisticated Ladies". Also, Al Cohn did arrangements for unreleased Linda Rondstadt recordings from the 1980s.[1]

Al Cohn's first wife was singer Marilyn Moore. Cohn died in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania in 1988.



As leader

As sideman

With Zoot Sims

  • East Coast Sounds (1956) - In New York with clarinetist Tony Scott, arrangements by Marty Paich and Dick Hyman.
  • From A to Z (1956)
  • Al and Zoot (1957)
  • Either Way (1960)
  • Blues and Haikus (1960) - Playing behind Jack Kerouac's poetry reading.
  • You 'n' Me (1960)
  • Body and Soul (1973) - With Jaki Byard on Piano, George Duvivier on Bass and Mel Lewis on Drums. Produced by Don Schlitten.
  • Motoring Along (1975) - With Horace Parlan on Piano, Hugo Rasmussen on Bass and Sven Erik Norregaard on Drums. Produced by Rune Ofwerman.
  • Either Way (1960)
  • Hoagy Carmichael Sessions and More
  • Easy as Pie: Live at the Left Bank (1968) live in Baltimore, with pianist Dave Frishberg,


  1. ^ "An Intimate Conversation With Linda Rondstadt" Bloom, Steve. Downbeat magazine, July, 1985.
  2. ^ Yanow, Scott. "America: Al Cohn". Allmusic.  


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