As a composer, performer, instrument builder/designer, storyteller, teacher, mentor, and organizer, Cooper-Moore has been a major, if somewhat behind-the-scenes, catalyst in the world of creative music for over 30 years. As a child prodigy Cooper-Moore played piano in churches near his birthplace in the Piedmont region of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. His performance roots in the realm of avant jazz music date to the NYC Loft Jazz era in the early/mid-70s. His first fully committed jazz group was formed in 1970 - the collective trio Apogee with David S. Ware and drummer Marc Edwards. Sonny Rollins asked them to open for him at the Village Vanguard in 1973, and they did so with aplomb. A recording of this group was made in 1977, and later issued as Birth of a Being on hatHut under Ware’s name. Following an evidently rather trying European tour with Ware, Beaver Harris, and Brian Smith in 1981, Cooper-Moore returned home and completely destroyed his piano, with sledgehammer and fire, in his backyard. He didn’t play piano again until some years after, instead focusing his energies from 1981-1985 on developing and implementing curriculum to teach children through music via the Head Start program. Returning to New York in 1985, he spent a great part of his creative time working and performing with theatre and dance productions, largely utilizing his hand-crafted instruments. It was not until the early 90s, when William Parker asked him to join his group In Order To Survive, that Cooper-Moore’s pianistic gifts were again regularly featured in the jazz context. In the early 'aughts the group Triptych Myth was his own first regular working jazz group in decades and together they blazed some trails (may again!) and released two albums; one rich formative, one exquisite. Cooper-Moore's creative story continues well-strong and unabated into the present day. -SJ

Discography of featured works on AUM Fidelity:
David S. Ware /Planetary Unknown Live at Jazzfestival Saalfelden 2011 (AUM074)
David S. Ware / Cooper-Moore / William Parker / Muhammad Ali: Planetary Unknown
(AUM068)
William Parker Organ Quartet / Uncle Joe's Spirit House (CENT1004)
Darius Jones Trio / Man'ish Boy (AUM057)
COOPER-MOORE / The Cedar Box Recordings (AUM051)
TRIPTYCH MYTH / The Beautiful (AUM035)
William Parker & The Little Huey Creative Music Orchestra / Mayor of Punkville (AUM015/16)
William Parker/In Order To Survive / The Peach Orchard (AUM010/11)
VISION ONE: Vision Festival 1997 Compiled (AUM007/8)
William Parker & The Little Huey Creative Music Orchestra / Sunrise In The Tone World (AUM002/3)

 

ONE FINAL NOTE - Cooper-Moore Feature by Marc Medwin

 

COOPER-MOORE SOLO TOUR OF AMERICA - Autumn 2008

Cooper-Moore Solo / Music: Old and New Paths
Traveling from town to town by bus and train as the routes and rates avail, Cooper-Moore will perform this brand new program fully utilizing his own handcrafted instruments. Old and New Paths is a mix, a gumbo, a stew of gospel, bop, avant-garde jazz, and blues based music which is used to accompany stories about people that he's known, and stories that he heard as a child living in the Piedmont area of Virginia.

 
SEPTEMBER
26-FRI – Detroit, MI – Contemporary Art Institute of Detroit
28-SUN – Tupelo, Mississippi – The Link Centre  
29-MON – Tupelo public school workshops
30-TUE – Tupelo public school workshops
OCTOBER
9-THU – Portland, OR – workshops in Portland
10-FRI – Portland, OR – galleryHOMELAND
11-SAT – Eugene, OR – The Jazz Station
14-TUE – San Francisco, CA – Mama Calizo's Voice Factory * VENUE CHANGE!
16-THU – Long Beach, CA – {open} books.music.magazines.art
19-SUN – Reno, NV – California Building in Idlewild Park
25-SAT – St. Louis, MO – Joe’s Cafe  
26-SUN – St. Louis, MO – Rosebud Cafe at Scott Joplin House * ADDED DATE!
                                                                   
28-TUES
– New Orleans, LA – Upstairs at The Blue Nile / Open Ears Music Series
29-WED – New Orleans, LA – matinee at Sound Cafe
30-THU – New Orleans, LA – The Gold Mine Saloon / 17 Poets Series
NOVEMBER
1-SAT – Chicago, IL – Velvet Lounge
13-THU – Mexico City, MEXICO – Festival & workshops
14-FRI – Mexico City, MEXICO
15-SAT – Mexico City, MEXICO
19-WED – Cambridge, MA – Longy School of Music & for advance tickets
22-SAT – Harleysville, PA – Christ Covenant Church

ALSO NOTE: the Cedar Box Recordings CD release on occasion of this tour.

 

Some press quotes on Cooper-Moore:

"One of New York's most effusive but reclusive musical geniuses. Cooper-Moore is a one-man New Orleans jazz funeral flailing like the Grambling State marching band across a vaudeville stage." - Andy Battaglia, Salon.com

"One of the most potent musicians ever." - Phil Waldorf, Other Music

"As one of those rare jacks who own the startling ability to master as many trades as they can fit under their belts, Cooper-Moore has become one of the East Coast creative jazz scene's most versatile and valuable presences." - Scott Hreha, One Final Note

 

And an extended scholarly essay:
Itutu ("On how to appropriately present oneself to others"): Extra-musical pedagogical values of creative music

by Pierre Carsalade, EHESS, Paris / Romain Tesler, Université Lyon 2 / Alexandre Pierrepont, Université Paris 7


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