British clarinet and saxophone player Tony Coe started out in the
Clarke-Boland big band and in Henry Mancini's soundtracks (the sax solos of the "Pink Panther" movies).
In the late 1950s he had already formed a quintet that recorded
Tony Coe Quintet (november 1958) and
Swingin' Til The Girls Come Home (july 1962), as well as the live
Jazz Tete A Tete (november 1966).
His early solo albums were Some Other Spring (1964) and the piano-based quartet,
Tony's Basement (june 1967), that collected sessions with a variety of musicians including a string quartet,
Some Other Autumn (january 1971), containing the first version of one of his classics (the title-track, that actually mimicks the standard Autumn Leaves),
His first major endeavour was
Zeitgeist (july 1976), based on poems by Jill Robin, for a 24-piece orchestra, a colossal work that blended jazz, rock and classical music.
It was followed by
the much humbler quintet "songs" of Existence (june 1978)
and by the collaboration with pianist
Tournee du Chat (april 1982), with the 17-minute The Jolly Corner,
Le Chat Se Retourne (september 1984 - Nato 257),
and the soundtrack for Mer de Chine (Nato zog 2), recorded in 1987,
revealed a surreal storyteller and painter of warm vignettes.
Nutty (august 1983) was a live collaboration with drummer Tony Oxley and
a bassist (especially the 17-minute Some Other Autumn,
Nutty On Willisau (1985),
Canterbury Song (november 1988),
Jazzpar 95 (march 1995),
Captain Coe's Famous Racearound (march 1995) for the Danish Radio Jazz Orchestra,
Days Of Wine And Roses (february 1997) a collaboration with reed player Alan Barnes (plus piano, bass and drums),
Street Of Dreams (april 1997), a collaboration with cornet player
Warren Vache (plus piano, guitar, bass and drums),
Ruby (1998) for his new quintet (mostly jazz standards),
Dreams (february 2000), a collaboration with
flugelhorn player Gerard Presencer: (plus piano and bass).
Coe also helped Koglmann on The Use of Memory (october 1990),
Cantos I-IV (october 1992), Fear Death By Water (march 2003).
Tony Coe died in 2023 at the age of 88.