Tony Coe
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Tony Coe

Tony Coe
Anthony George Coe
Born (1934-11-29) 29 November 1934 (age 87)
Canterbury, Kent, England
Bass clarinet
WebsiteOfficial website

Anthony George Coe (born 29 November 1934) is an English jazz musician who plays clarinet, bass clarinet, flute as well as soprano, alto, and tenor saxophones.[1]


Born in Canterbury, Kent, England,[1] Coe started out on clarinet and was self-taught on tenor saxophone. At just 15 years of age in 1949 he played in his school's (Simon Langton Grammar School for Boys) trad band and two years later, aged 17, became a full professional with Joe Daniels. In 1953, aged 18, he joined the army where he played clarinet in the Military band and saxophone with the unit Dance Band. After demob in 1955 he spent some time in France with the Micky Bryan Band (Micky on piano, Gerry Salisbury (valve trombone), Harry Bryan (trumpet), Lennie Hastings on drums and Coe on clarinet), before rejoining Joe Daniels. In 1957 Tony's father went to see Humphrey Lyttelton and, as a result, Tony spent just over four years with Humphrey's band from 1957 to the end of 1961. This was a period when Coe was brought to the attention of critics and fans as well as giving him some degree of international fame. He left Lyttleton at the end of 1961 to form his own outfit.[2]

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')[3] 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[4] 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. He has worked additionally with the Mike Gibbs big band and the United Jazz and Rock Ensemble.

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.

Awards and honours

In 1976, a grant from the Arts Council enabled him to write Zeitgeist - Based On Poems Of Jill Robin, a large-scale orchestral work fusing jazz and rock elements with techniques from classical music which was recorded on EMI records on 29 and 30 July 1976 at Lansdowne Studios based in Holland Park, London.[5] In 1995 he received an honorary degree and the Danish Jazzpar Prize.


As leader

  • Swingin' Till the Girls Come Home with the Tony Coe Quintet (Philips, 1962)
  • Tony's Basement with the Lansdowne String Quartet (Columbia, 1967)
  • Sax with Sex (Metronome, 1968)
  • Pop Makes Progress with Robert Farnon (Chapter One, 1970)
  • With Brian Lemon Trio (77 Records, 1971)
  • Zeitgeist: Based on Poems of Jill Robin (EMI, 1977)
  • Coe-Existence (Lee Lambert, 1978)
  • Time with Derek Bailey (Incus, 1979)
  • Get It Together with Al Grey (Pizza Express, 1979)
  • Tournee Du Chat (Nato, 1983)
  • Le Chat Se Retourne (Nato, 1984)
  • Mainly Mancini (Chabada, 1985)
  • Mer De Chine (Nato, 1988)
  • Canterbury Song (Hot House, 1989)
  • Les Voix D'Itxassou (Nato, 1990)
  • Les Sources Bleues with Tony Hymas, Chris Laurence (Nato, 1991)
  • Captain Coe's Famous Racearound with Bob Brookmeyer (Storyville, 1996)
  • In Concert with John Horler, Malcolm Creese (ABCDs, 1997)
  • Jazz Piquant N'oublie Jamais with Tina May (Doz, 1998)
  • Days of Wine and Roses with Alan Barnes (Zephyr, 1998)
  • Street of Dreams with Warren Vaché (Zephyr, 1999)
  • Jumpin with Warren Vaché, Alan Barnes (Zephyr, 1999)
  • Sun, Moon, and Stars with Alan Hacker (Zah Zah, 1999)
  • British-American Blue with Roger Kellaway (Between the Lines, 2000)
  • Dreams with Gerard Presencer, Brian Lemon, Dave Green (Zephyr, 2001)
  • What in the World with Richard Sinclair, David Rees Williams (Sinclair Songs, 2003)
  • More Than You Know with Tina May, Nikki Iles (33 Records, 2004)

As sideman

With Steve Beresford

  • 1985 Eleven Songs for Doris Day (Chabada)
  • 1988 L'Extraordinaire Jardin De Charles Trenet (Chabada)
  • 1989 Pentimento (Cinenato)
  • 1996 Cue Sheets (Tzadik)

With the Kenny Clarke/Francy Boland Big Band (MPS)

With Georgie Fame

  • 1966 Sound Venture (Columbia)
  • 1967 The Two Faces of Fame (CBS)
  • 1968 The Third Face of Fame (CBS)

With Tony Hymas

  • 1988 Flying Fortress (Nato)
  • 1990 Oyate (Nato)
  • 1995 Remake of the American Dream

With Franz Koglmann

  • 1990 A White Line (hatART)
  • 1991 The Use of Memory (hatART)
  • 1991 L'Heure Bleue (hatART)
  • 1993 Cantos I-IV (hatART)
  • 1995 We Thought About Duke with Lee Konitz (hatART)
  • 1998 Make Believe
  • 1999 An Affair With Strauss (Between the Lines)
  • 2001 Don't Play Just Be (Between the Lines)
  • 2001 O Moon My Pin-Up (hatOLOGY)
  • 2003 Fear Death by Water (Between the Lines)
  • 2005 Let's Make Love (Between the Lines)
  • 2009 Lo-Lee-Ta: Music on Nabokov

With Humphrey Lyttelton

  • 1957 Here's Humph! (Parlophone)
  • 1960 Blues in the Night (Columbia)
  • 1965 Humphrey Lyttelton and His Band
  • 1971 Duke Ellington Classics (Black Lion)
  • 2001 The Humphrey Lyttelton Big Band with Jimmy Rushing
  • 2002 Humph Bruce & Sandy Swing at the BBC
  • 2003 A Night in Oxford Street
  • 2005 Humph Dedicates (Vocalion)
  • 2013 Live at the Nottingham Jazz Festival 1972 (Calligraph)

With Mike McGear

  • 1972 Woman
  • 1974 McGear (Warner Bros.)

With Norma Winstone

  • 1986 Somewhere Called Home
  • 1998 Manhattan in the Rain

With others


  1. ^ a b Colin Larkin, ed. (1992). The Guinness Who's Who of Jazz (First ed.). Guinness Publishing. p. 92. ISBN 0-85112-580-8.
  2. ^ "Tony Coe | Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved 2021.
  3. ^ Richard Cook's Jazz Encyclopedia (London: Penguin, 2005), p. 120.
  4. ^ Liner notes of the Columbia 12-inch single 44-03019.
  5. ^ "Tony Coe - Zeitgeist - Based On Poems Of Jill Robin (1977, Vinyl)". Retrieved 2021.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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