Complete text -- "In Search of Jim Cuomo!!!"

04 July

In Search of Jim Cuomo!!!

Billy Bucher, Dallas, TX, July 4, 2005
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Cuomo Sightings:

Pigeon Music - The Oracle Swing Trio - janvier 2005
original new standards ...

The Oracle Swing Trio
20 janvier jeudi 22h00 5 euros
6 Passage de Menilmontant
75011 Paris
ambiance : cave/concert
restaurant saveurs afro-cubaine
Cuomo photo

I realize at the onset that this particular posting is one of the most randomly, disorganized flows of space and time and energies which I have presented. It's almost like a John Cage piece I once performed on in the mid-sixties at the Dallas Public Library. To all who remember him, this may be just the befitting tribute which Jim Cuomo deserves. In college, it often seemed that Jim was going five directions at once, since he was so busy. It now appears that things haven't changed much at all.

The Oracle Swing Trio
28 janvier vendredi 21h00
Les Associes
50 Boulevard de la Bastille
75012 Paris

ambiance: bar/cool

PIGEON MUSIC - LA RENTREE 2004 - Paris, France
Trio Cuomo (clarinette) with Arnaud Paviot and Alex Safran on guitars will perform on 24 septembre vendredi 21h00
at Cafe Bleu 83 rue j.p.timbaud 11eme entree libre Flor de Manouche ... gypsy swing samba fun for all ... 18 original new standards

At first these glimpses of a lost Cuomo were few and far between.

When Lou Marini came to town to play with the Fabulous Chickenhawks about a year and a half ago, we got to talking about the fate of Jimmy Cuomo. See: "Blue Lou Hits Gilley's,"

Jim was well known in the jazz department in the mid-sixties but he was equally recognized to a great number of students for his work composing music for a large number of drama productions. He scored many of the Shakespeare plays which boasted the likes of Larry Pine, Pam DeGroot, Carole Monferdini, Camilla Carr and Jan Buttram, to name a few. This was how I knew him best, playing percussion on some of his compositions in the orchestra pit at the old English building where the plays were presented.

Like Lou, I had first met Jimmy at the Stan Kenton's National Stage Band Clinic in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Around campus at North Texas, Jim was known as a person of boundless energy and at any time was involved in a flurry of projects. I had previously attempted to search for Jim on the internet but the only mention I could find was on an album, produced in Paris, France, around 1976.

Lou confirmed that as late as the beginning of the nineties, Jim was still in Paris but he went on to tell me that the last time he had seen Cuomo, Jimmy was off to Madagascar to study some aboriginal music. That was the last time that Lou had heard from Jim.

"Maybe they kept him there," I suggested.

Lou smiled and replied. "You just never know!"

I had always tried to searching under Jimmy Cuomo, as he went by in college, and I was getting no where. After talking with Lou, I suddenly decided to go in under Jim Cuomo and immediately I got a flood of material. Duh!!!

pigeon music august ...
august 6 vendredi - project 101
44 rue de la rochefoucauld
75009 paris
Special 8-bit evening: featuring - from Los Angeles - Naughty Boy (commodore 64 and gameboy) playing a wide variety of game scores from the 80's including Defender of the Crown. He will be joined by the composer as guest ... said composer, Jim Cuomo, will perform the award winning -"une bonne soiree" for saxophone and ORIC computer for the first time since 1984 - with technical help from the Club Europe Oric ...

The evening also includes a special gameboy duo, and the infamous Nintendo rappers !!!

This show is not to be missed ...
(I certainly wish I hadn't.)

Still, this information didn't come easily. I had various references but no direct line. I had yet to make direct contact with Cuomo. On a lark, I sent an email to a comment section for a European recording company magazine for whom Cuomo had recorded. I explained my dilemma in not being able to locate an old college friend. To my surprise, a record exec was kind enough to reply.

"Dear Billy,
Jim is living in Paris. I mailed him your email today.
Normal Records
Eduard Rühmann
Bonner Talweg 276
53129 Bonn
Normal Records
A nice gesture by Mr. Rühmann, to be sure.

Then the next day came an email from Paris:
"Billy Bucher! What a treat....
Yes it's me - Jim
So when does your plane arrive?
After college (and NYC) I moved to Paris. Still here. So much to recount - only a visit will do ... and since Texas doesn't seem to be on the way to anything for me, you will just have to come here.

I've read your hob-nob tracts ... excellent. I'll prepare something for you.
Are you still playing ??
Cuomo site
and click forever ..."

This was followed by a long period of time when I would get updates on Cuomo events but no word from Jim. I found that he had recorded with a lot of artists such as Steve Winwood and Tim Buckley and was quite a name around Paris.


jim cuomo
Apr 29, 2004


The Oracle Swing Trio will record a live television show in public on Thursday 25 Novembre at 21h00
Les Associes cafe/restaurant
50 Boulevard Bastille
75012 Paris
just opposite the Opera,

Also on the program,
which will be broadcast in Janvier on Tele-Sud Cable, are Manu Dibango, Ray Lema, and many others ...

3A TELESUD est sur le Satellite HOT BIRD 6 13
visible aussi sur TPS et FreeBox sur canal 50

Then recently came the rest of the information which I'd been waiting for.

"Hello, Billy (tho I remember you as Bill)
This is Jim (tho you remember me as Jimmy)
Here's something for your blog :
Continued Jim:
"One late Hob Nob afternoon was greeted with a grand entrance ... no gloating ... he wasn't a gloater ... Frank Mayes came in with a Beatles haircut with matching boots! Frank! The re-incarnation of Marshall Royal (not to mention Johnny Hodges when the need arose) with a Fab Four look. No fear ... the hair grew out, he dumped the shoes and continued playing beautifully as always.

"I didn't get my boots until 1968.

"While thinking of the Hob Nob I also thought of Pender's!
What became of it?

"As I've noted in some of your recent blog stuff ... you've also been citing the many theater folk (there's no people like ... ) who frequented the Hob Nob ... it was right next to the drama department ... n'est-ce pas? Lots of vague memories ... and some not so vague. Wonderful times were had.

"After one last Hob Nob burger I moved on to University of Illinois in 1966. Then four years later on to NY and then a year later to Paris ...

Except for a period of homesickness that was joyfully cured with seven great years in Portland-Oregon in the 1990's, I've been here ever since ... composing, playing, writing, you know ...

Hello to everyone!

And when are you coming to Paris?"



Jim Cuomo
Pigeon Music ... tv, gameboy and swing - Fevrier 2005

Other tidbits:

Some of this music will also be on the mini-festival jeudi August 5 at Le Cithea on Oberkampf .... 23h00 - l'aube
For the first time, this mailing includes two cool reviews.
CUOMO EJAZZ a cd from QDK Media of Hamburg ... to find out where to purchase this fine CD ... please googlize ...

Further reading on Jim Cuomo

Genre: Computer Music, Experimental, Modern Composition,
Tape Music

Reviews: Jim Cuomo's name will go mostly forgotten in the
history of music, since his activity was mainly confined to the role of session player. But since the late '60s he has leisurely worked on tape and later computer positions.
These are now collected on Ejazz, and they paint an
iconoclastic picture that couldn't be perceived from his
work as a sideman. Forward-looking, although not erociously avant-garde, this music is challenging, pretty, and entertaining, all at the same time. The main opus and the strangest item on the record is "Those Old Stock-Pavilion Blues", or "Will the Big Bands Ever Feedback." Recorded in 1967, it is written for "prepared jazzmen" (a pun on "prepared piano"), computer, and tape. The tape part is a complex, abstractly structured piece of early electronic music.

The jazz-band part consists of straight-ahead hard bop by
Cuomo's group (Jim Knapp, Charlie Braugham, Bob Witmer,
and Mitch Hennes) and the two are not intermingled but
superimposed, creating a rough clash between tradition and
innovation, acoustic and electronic. Structured into two
"sets" with a "break" in between, the piece shows a witty
sense of humor that makes it delightful. The other point of interest is "Chamberpiece for Bearded Percussionist and
Two-Channel Tape" (1968, recorded in 2001), where the
score is the tape (i.e., the tape part consists of a
[treated] female voice reading out directions to the
performer, Malicorne's Jean-Pierre Arnoux). The shorter
tracks for sax, electronic percussion (by Camille Saféris), and Amiga computer sequences have a nice lightness to them, especially Sky Logic. There is a lot of tape hiss in the older pieces, but otherwise Ejazz makes a fine collection, of appeal to Cuomo's fans and to those with an interest in early electronic/computer music. ~

François Couture, All Music Guide 2004


The soldering of computer music with jazz is often in the realm of random chance operations, utilising software patches which not only reprocess instrumentation but the composition of the score itself. Such close encounters have long been the planet of Jim Cuomo, whose scored, improvisational and eclectic works from 1967 to as late as 1999 are gatehered in a surprisingly inventive and
listenable session. Not only are jazz standards interweaved with the analogue bubbling of some of
the earliest computer music, but musique concrete provides
scoring cues as well as audio accompaniment, from the
rapid-fire density of noisey over jams of percussion, tape
and computer (with a hint of jazz) to the sparse and minimalist tuba and flute slicing through computerized quanta (with a sense of jazz), the very nature of "jazz" is reprogrammed.

Unlike the instantaneous effect of the laptop mouse,
one week in 1967 produced five minutes of processing time --
"Very carefully punched cards in; huge reels of computer tape out."
--which is to say, EJAZZ serves as a reel of computer music/jazz history, and also, of the inspiration unearthed in the Experimental Music Studio at the University
of Urbana-Champaign, Illinois, where many of these
pieces were composed and recorded. To the digital
generation, some of these escapades must sound trivial
(e.g., the harpsichord renderings of harmonies).

But the horizon heard in these mad laboratory experiments -- composed for not only recordings, but live improvisation,
radio, and tape -- far surpasses the mono-medium approach
(the album or single) of today's experimentalists.

Rewind this title: "Chamberpiece for Bearded Percussionist and Two-Channel Tape" Cuomo was a crazy, a psychedelic renegade in the weird world of '60s jazzman, who left his mark on the computer tapes of not only sound recordings but the "printed events" derived from these room-sized, slow machines, deriving new ways to reprocess and affect
composition and performance.

EI Magazine 2004

So Jim Cuomo remains alive and well in Paris. Like so many other performers and artists from the sixties, he is still following his muse and seems to be finding pleasure in the quest. Just wondering if Jim still has his Beatle boots.

Posted by billybucher at 01:09:10 - Category: General
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