|Birth name||Anthony George Coe|
|Born||29 November 1934|
|Associated acts||The Lonely Bears; The Melody Four|
Coe began his performing career playing with Humphrey Lyttelton's band from 1957 to 1962. In 1965 he was invited to join Count Basie's band ('I'm glad it didn't come off – I would have lasted about a fortnight') and has since played with the John Dankworth Orchestra, the Kenny Clarke-Francy Boland Big Band, Derek Bailey's free improvisation group Company, Stan Tracey, Michael Gibbs, Stan Getz, Dizzy Gillespie and Bob Brookmeyer, and performed under Pierre Boulez as well as leading a series of groups of his own, including Coe Oxley & Co with drummer Tony Oxley. He played clarinet on Paul McCartney's recording of "I'll Give You A Ring", released in 1982, and saxophone on John Martyn's 1973 album Solid Air.
Coe has also worked with the Matrix, a small ensemble formed by clarinettist Alan Hacker, with a wide-ranging repertoire of early, classical and contemporary music, the Danish Radio Big Band, Metropole Orchestra and Skymasters in the Netherlands.
Coe has recorded on soundtracks for several films, including Superman II, Victor/Victoria, Nous irons tous au paradis, Leaving Las Vegas, Le Plus beau métier du monde and The Loss of Sexual Innocence. He also composed the film score for Camomille.
Among the awards Coe has received are an honorary D.Mus and the prestigious Danish Jazzpar Prize (1995, the first non-American to receive this prize).
One of Tony Coe's sons is radio broadcaster Gideon Coe.
Citing Paul Gonsalves as an influence, Coe is especially noted for his versatility.
"Tony Coe is one of the most remarkable and brilliant musicians in the world. The sheer range of his musical activity… …is staggering and testifies to an awe-inspiring instrumental mastery." Humphrey Lyttelton
- Camomile (1988), composer
- Richard Cook's Jazz Encyclopedia (London: Penguin, 2005), p. 120.
- Liner notes of the Columbia 12" single 44-03019.
- LP liner notes for "Coe-Existence", originally released on Lee Lambert, 1978, www.whatmusic.com (8040180048272)
- Jazz: the Essential Companion, London, 1987 (ISBN 9780135092743)