Al Cooper

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Al Kooper, 2009

Al Kooper (born Alan Peter Kuperschmidt in Brooklyn , New York on February 5, 1944 ) is an American rock musician, guitarist, keyboardist, singer, songwriter and producer.


Cooper began his career in 1959 as a 14-year-old guitarist in the group The Royal Teens , which became known for the number 3 hit in the US charts “Short Shorts”. He soon became a sought-after session musician. He wrote a number of hits with Bobby Brass and Irwin Lewine, including "This Diamond Ring," which in 1965 became a number 1 hit for Gary Lewis & The Playboys .

In 1965 he worked like Mike Bloomfield with Bob Dylan on his album " Highway 61 Revisited " (he played the organ on Like A Rolling Stone ). In 1966 he was the musical director working on Dylan's " Blonde on Blonde ". After that, he continued working for Dylan, both in the studio and performing live. In the course of his career, Kooper played at many recordings and concerts with well-known musicians and bands such as Jimi Hendrix , the Rolling Stones and The Who .

In 1966, Kooper founded the Blues Project together with Danny Kalb (guitar), Steve Katz (guitar), Andy Kulberg (bass) and Roy Blumenfeld (drums) . In 1967 he left the band to found Blood, Sweat & Tears and to raise jazz rock from the baptism. However, he only stayed with the group for the recording of the first album, then differences arose and Kooper went his way.

In 1968 Al Kooper recorded the successful album " Super Session " with Stephen Stills and Mike Bloomfield . This was followed by the album "Live Adventures of Al Kooper and Mike Bloomfield", on which Carlos Santana had one of his first appearances. Cooper's other albums were less successful.

From 1974 he withdrew more and more from the active music business. He wrote his autobiography "Backstage Passes". Cooper was also successful as a producer; he produced u. a. The Tubes , Nils Lofgren and Lynyrd Skynyrd . In 1997 he took on a teaching position at the Berklee School of Music in Boston .

In 2005, after almost 30 years, he released an album that was not a great success despite positive reviews.


  • I Stand Alone (1968)
  • Super Session (1968, with Mike Bloomfield and Stephen Stills)
  • Live Adventures (1969, with Mike Bloomfield)
  • You Never Know Who Your Friends Are (1969)
  • Cooper Session (1970, with Shuggie Otis )
  • Easy Does It (1970)
  • Landlord (Soundtrack) (1971)
  • New York City (1971, You're A Woman)
  • A Possible Projection of the Future / Childhood's End (1972)
  • Naked Songs (1973)
  • Unclaimed Freight (Anthology) (1975)
  • Act Like Nothing Wrong (1977)
  • Championship Wrestling (1982)
  • Recooperation (1994)
  • Soul of a Man (1995)
  • Rare and well done (2001)
  • The Lost Concert Tapes (2003, with Mike Bloomfield and Johnny Winter ; recorded live in 1968)
  • Black Coffee (2005)
  • White Chocolate (2008)


  • Stambler, Irwin: The Encyclopedia Of Pop, Rock And Soul . 3rd Revised Edition, New York City, New York: St. Martin's Press, 1989, pp. 382-384. ISBN 0-312-02573-4

Web links

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