March 22

2 Facts You Didn’t Know About Jazz Legend Al Cohn

2 Facts You Didn’t Know About Jazz Legend Al Cohn

Jazz music has played a pivotal role in music history, and one of the genre’s greatest musicians was Al Cohn. Al Cohn excelled at playing the tenor saxophone, a member of Woody Herman’s “Four Brothers” from 1948 to 1949. But, there are some fascinating facts about Al Cohn that you probably don’t know about. This post aims to provide you with 2 facts about the Jazz legend Al Cohn, which will enrich your appreciation for his legacy.

Al Cohn’s Early Life and Career

Before getting to know the lesser-known facts about Al Cohn, let’s first explore the beginning of his incredible career.

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Al Cohn was born in Brooklyn, New York, on November 24, 1925. Al Cohn’s first musical instrument was the piano, which he started playing at a young age. He then began playing the clarinet before settling on the tenor saxophone. Al Cohn’s journey as a professional musician began when he joined the Joe Marsala band at age 17.

One of Al Cohn’s most significant influences was Lester Young, another prominent tenor saxophonist. Al Cohn’s career took off in the late 1940s when he joined the Woody Herman Orchestra’s “Four Brothers.” There, he played alongside three other saxophonists, including Stan Getz.

2 Facts About Al Cohn

1. Al Cohn wrote the jazz standard “Squeeze Me.”

Al Cohn was not just an excellent tenor saxophonist. He also composed some great jazz tunes, including the jazz standard “Squeeze Me.” Al Cohn, along with his collaborator and pianist, Jimmy Rowles, composed “Squeeze Me” in 1956. The song has since been recorded by many musicians and continues to be a well-known jazz standard.

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2. Al Cohn was a great arranger but did not like to write long arrangements.

Al Cohn was also an accomplished arranger. His works can be heard on albums by artists such as Zoot Sims, Helen Merrill, and Sonny Stitt. However, despite his talent in this field, Al Cohn did not like to write long arrangements. He preferred to create arrangements that could fit onto a single page. This approach made his arrangements more straightforward and concise and showcased his precise and practical approach to Jazz.

FAQs About Al Cohn

1. What was Al Cohn’s most significant contribution to Jazz?

Al Cohn’s most significant contribution to Jazz was his contributions as a tenor saxophonist and his exceptional talent as an arranger. He was a respected member of the Jazz community and worked with many famous musicians during his career.

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2. Was Al Cohn a member of any famous Jazz bands or groups?

Yes, Al Cohn was a member of several well-known Jazz bands and groups during his career, including Woody Herman’s “Four Brothers.”

3. What is Al Cohn’s most famous composition?

Al Cohn’s most famous composition is “Squeeze Me,” a jazz standard that he wrote in collaboration with pianist Jimmy Rowles.

4. What was Al Cohn’s preferred approach to arranging music?

Al Cohn preferred to create short and concise arrangements that could fit onto a single page. This approach showcased his precision and practical approach to Jazz.

5. What led Al Cohn to start playing Jazz?

Al Cohn was more interested in writing music initially. However, his brother’s influence led him to start playing Jazz, which eventually became his lifelong passion.

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6. How did Al Cohn’s career take off?

Al Cohn’s career took off in the late 1940s when he joined Woody Herman’s “Four Brothers.” There, he played alongside three other talented saxophonists, including Stan Getz, which ultimately put him in the spotlight.

7. How did Al Cohn’s contributions to Jazz shape the music scene?

Al Cohn’s contributions to jazz through his tenor saxophone performances and exceptional talent as an arranger influenced and grew the Jazz music scene. His contributions inspired many aspiring Jazz musicians, and his legacy continues to inspire future Jazz musicians.

Conclusion

Al Cohn was an exceptional musician, known for his incredible talent on the tenor saxophone and his exceptional skills as an arranger. His contributions to Jazz continue to impact the genre, and his legacy continues to inspire aspiring jazz musicians around the world. Learning about the lesser-known contributions of great musicians like Al Cohn only adds to the richness and diversity of the Jazz genre. If you haven’t yet, take a listen to some of Al Cohn’s music today, and you’ll see why he is considered one of jazz’s greatest musicians of all time.

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