Jerome Cooper

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Not to be confused with Jerome G. Cooper.

Jerome Cooper (born December 14, 1946, Chicago) is an American free jazz musician. Known as a multi-dimensional drummer, Cooper plays balafon, chirimia and electronic tonal activator in addition to trap drums.

Cooper studied with Oliver Coleman and Walter Dyett in the late 1950s and early 1960s, then studied at the American Conservatory and Loop College. In 1968 he worked with Oscar Brown, Jr. and Kalaparusha Maurice McIntyre in the U.S. but moved to Europe before the end of the decade, where he played with Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Steve Lacy, Lou Bennett, the Art Ensemble of Chicago, Alan Silva, Frank Wright, and Noah Howard. After returning to the U.S. in 1971, he joined the Revolutionary Ensemble alongside Leroy Jenkins and Sirone, where he remained for several years and played piano, flute, and bugle in addition to drums. In the 1970s he also played with Sam Rivers, George Adams, Karl Berger, Andrew Hill, and Anthony Braxton. In the 1980s he worked again with McIntyre and with Cecil Taylor.

Cooper is noted for the style of his solos, which typically build steadily from slow beginnings and short rhythmic phrases.


As leader[edit]

  • 1978: Positions 3 6 9 (Kharma Records)
  • 1978: Root Assumptions (Anima)
  • 1979: For the People (Hathut Records)
  • 1979: Unpredictability of Predictability (About Time)
  • 1988: Outer and Interactions (About Time)
  • 2001: In Concert: From There to Hear (Mutable Music)
  • 2003: Alone, Together, Apart (Mutable Music)

As sideman[edit]

With Lester Bowie

With Anthony Braxton

With Cecil Taylor

With Rahsaan Roland Kirk

With Revolutionary Ensemble

  • Revolutionary Ensemble (ESP-Disk, 1972)
  • Revolutionary Ensemble (Enja, 1977)