Saturday, September 25, 2004

Buster Cooper

Last night after Tom's opening at the garden, Gloria and I went out to hear
Buster Cooper play.
Cooper has been playing at the Garden Retsaurant for about ten years according to a
fellow we talked to in the street after the show.

Also with him was a talented young guitarist named Nate, a drummer, and a bass

player whose names escaped me. They were alsojoined by two trumpet players,
William White, and an older gentleman whose solos were more articulated and
intricate than the emotive playing of White.

They were also joined by two singers. Gloria had her eye on one of the fellows
most of the night because of his enthusiasm. later she was glad to see him get
up and sing.. The man was in his sixties, wearing suspenders, with his hand
in a brace. He sang scat for several numbers. When I talked to him after the
show, he said that he had known the drummer for forty-seven years.

Buster Cooper -- George Cooper's cousin, this St. Petersburg native and Gibbs High graduate became a world-renowned jazz trombonist, playing most notably with Duke Ellington and Lionel Hampton. He played in the house band at the Apollo Theater in Harlem and formed the Cooper Brothers Band with his brother Steve playing the upright bass. Buster Cooper still plays regularly at the Garden Restaurant downtown.,,417281,00.html?artist=Buster+Cooper
An extroverted trombone stylist best-known for his association with Duke Ellington, Buster Cooper's witty style (which sometimes involves hitting repeated, humorous high notes at the conclusion of a song) is always a joy to hear. Early on, he played with Nat Towles' territory band in Texas. Cooper worked with Lionel Hampton in 1953, was in the Apollo Theater's house band for two years, played with Benny Goodman, and formed the Cooper Brothers Band with his brother Steve on bass. The trombonist had plenty of solo space with Duke Ellington's Orchestra from 1962-1969, spent time in Florida, and moved to Los Angeles in 1973, where for the next couple of decades he played with many local jazz orchestras, including the Juggernaut and Bill Berry's L.A. Band. Oddly enough, the colorful Buster Cooper has not yet had the opportunity to lead his own record date. ~ Scott Yanow, All Music Guide

Nat Adderly

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