Al Cohn

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Al Cohn
Al Cohn at the Village Jazz Lounge (L. Kolb)
Al Cohn at the Village Jazz Lounge (L. Kolb)
Background information
Birth nameAlvin Gilbert Cohn
Born(1925-11-24)November 24, 1925
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
DiedFebruary 15, 1988(1988-02-15) (aged 62)
Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, U.S.
  • Musician
  • composer
  • bandleader
Instrument(s)Tenor saxophone
Years active1940s–1980s

Al Cohn (November 24, 1925 – February 15, 1988)[1] was an American jazz saxophonist, arranger and composer. He came to prominence in the band of clarinetist Woody Herman and was known for his longtime musical partnership with fellow saxophonist Zoot Sims.


Alvin Gilbert Cohn was born in Brooklyn, New York.[1]

In addition to his work as a jazz tenor saxophonist, Cohn was widely respected as an arranger.[1] His work included the Broadway productions of Raisin' and Sophisticated Ladies, and his arrangements of his own compositions were recorded by big bands led by Maynard Ferguson, Gerry Mulligan, Terry Gibbs and Bob Brookmeyer.[1] Also, Cohn did arrangements for unreleased Linda Ronstadt recordings from the 1980s.[2]

Cohn also appeared on stage with Elvis Presley in June, 1972, as a member of the Joe Malin Orchestra at Madison Square Garden.

Al Cohn died of liver cancer in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania in 1988.[1]

Cohn's first wife was singer Marilyn Moore. His son, Joe Cohn, is a jazz guitarist.[1] Granddaughter Shaye Cohn, Joe's daughter, is a musician who plays cornet with her band Tuba Skinny in New Orleans and at jazz festivals in Italy, France, Australia, and elsewhere. Shaye also plays accordion, violin and piano.

Cohn was married to Flo Handy, a singer and composer, from the mid-1960s until his death.


As leader/co-leader[edit]

As sideman[edit]

With Manny Albam

With Mose Allison

With Trigger Alpert

With George Barnes

With Art Blakey

With Bob Brookmeyer

With Kenny Burrell

With Buck Clayton

With Jimmy Giuffre

With Freddie Green

With Urbie Green

With Coleman Hawkins

With Quincy Jones

With Jack Kerouac

With Jimmy Knepper

With Mundell Lowe

With the Metronome All-Stars

With Gary McFarland

With Carmen McRae

With Gerry Mulligan

With Joe Newman

With Oscar Pettiford

With Lalo Schifrin and Bob Brookmeyer

As arranger[edit]

With Maynard Ferguson

With Astrud Gilberto

With Quincy Jones

With Irene Kral

With Gerry Mulligan

With Mark Murphy

With Joe Newman

With Herb Pomeroy


  1. ^ a b c d e f Colin Larkin, ed. (1992). The Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music (First ed.). Guinness Publishing. p. 521. ISBN 0-85112-939-0.
  2. ^ Bloom, Steve (July 1985). "An Intimate Conversation With Linda Ronstadt". Downbeat magazine.
  3. ^ "Bob Brookmeyer Featuring Al Cohn - Storyville Presents Bob Brookmeyer". Discogs.

External links[edit]