Dolo Coker

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Dolo Coker
Born (1927-11-16)November 16, 1927
Died April 13, 1983(1983-04-13) (aged 55)
Genres Jazz
Occupations pianist, composer
Instruments piano
Labels Xanadu Records
Associated acts Blue Mitchell, Art Pepper

Charles Mitchell “Dolo” Coker (November 16, 1927 – April 13, 1983) was a jazz pianist and composer who recorded four albums for Xanadu Records and extensively as a sideman, for artists like Sonny Stitt, Gene Ammons, Lou Donaldson, Art Pepper, Philly Joe Jones, and Dexter Gordon.[1]

Biography[edit]

Charles Mitchell “Dolo” Coker was born in Hartford, CT on November 16, 1927, raised in both Philadelphia, PA and Florence, SC. The first musical instruments Coker played in childhood were the C-melody and alto saxophones, learning them at a school in Camden, SC. By the age of thirteen he was starting to play piano. Coker moved to Philadelphia, where he studied piano at the Landis School of Music and at Orenstein's Conservatory. Coker also played some shows on piano for Jimmy Heath while in Philadelphia.

He was also a member of the Frank Morgan Quartet (with Flip Greene on bass and Larance Marable on drums).

Coker did not record his own album as a leader until 1976, when he recorded his debut Dolo! with Blue Mitchell, Harold Land, Leroy Vinnegar and Frank Butler. That following day he recorded California Hard for Xanadu Records, with Art Pepper replacing Harold Land on sax. Following California Hard were Third Down and All Alone. He continued to work as a sideman for other artists until he died of cancer at the age of fifty-five on April 13, 1983.

Coker's nickname is sometimes misspelt "Dodo" in sleeve notes and books on jazz.

Discography[edit]

As leader[edit]

As sideman[edit]

With Frank Butler

With Junior Cook

With Sonny Criss

With Harry "Sweets" Edison and Eddie Davis

  • Simply Sweets (1977)

With Teddy Edwards

With Philly Joe Jones

With Art Pepper

With Sonny Stitt

References[edit]