BIOGRAPHY“ The Reds” is the only suitable phrase for the smooth, sensuous style of guitar playing that Craig T. Cooper has mastered. Not all blues, not all jazz, Craig T. is the “The Uncola of Jazz” and just plain “Funky-Sexy” Craig T. Cooper is a recording artist, producer, songwriter, arranger, M.D., sound engineer, programmer, mix and re-mix master, owner of CRAIGLAND Studios, LA and an all around damn good musician. His credits are endless and his experience is invaluable. So, let’s start at the beginning….Who is Craig T. Cooper?
Craig T. Cooper, the youngest of seven children,
was born and raised in
1984 marked the beginning of his rise to prominence as a studio musician. His first big break with El DeBarge subsequently led to non-stop studio work. He honed his craft and refined his style as he worked with such musical luminaries as; Anita Baker, Bob Dylan, Barry Manilow, The Boys, Rochelle Ferrell, The O’Jays, Vesta Williams, George Duke, Patrice Rushen, Lalah Hathaway, Klymaxx, LeVert, The Jacksons, The Crusaders, and Tone Loc. To diversify, he worked on numerous movie soundtracks and his own ‘pet projects’. On occasion Craig T. also hit the road and toured with Cheryl Lynn, Billy Preston, Ronnie Laws, LSG, Gerald LeVert, Rahsaan Patterson, and many others.
Subsequent to his touring, Craig T. was signed to Valley Vue Records in 1989, which spawned four critically acclaimed albums: “CRAIG T. COOPER PROJECT” (1989), “GOT THAT THANG” (1990), “DARKM’N” (1991) and “GREATEST HITS” (1994). His collaboration with singer/songwriter Denise Stewart would lead to the Standard “Quality Time” from the “GOT THAT THANG” album. Craig T. wrote and produced the material, he also played all the instruments as well as programmed, mixed and remixed the albums. These unique abilities lead to engineering and mixing other records. Many artists, to name a few, would contribute their talents to his original projects over the years such as The Late Joe Sample, Bobby Lyle, George Duke, Patrice Rushen, the Jazz Crusaders, Gerald Albright, Howard Hewitt, Ray Parker Jr., Gerald LeVert, and the most unusual being a harmonica solo featuring Mykelti Williamson of “Forrest Gump”, “Waiting To Exhale” "Nashville" and“ Ali”.
His success on Valley Vue Records inspired SIN-DROME records to sign him in 1995. Craig completed two wonderful releases from the label; the first being “TOUCH-TONE” (1995), which features his label-mates The Late Wayne Henderson and Wilton Felder of the Jazz Crusaders on the hit single “Can I Still Play With The Band?”. And the second named “ROMANTIC LETTER” (1996) featuring cover tunes such as “Sensitivity” (penned by Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis) and “Never Too Much” (written by Luther Vandross) reaped some very positive responses from the Masters themselves! In fact they were totally knocked out by Craig’s unusually bold treatment to their hits. ”CAUGHT UP IN A MOMENT” (2001) featuring Gerald Levert with a cover of the hit “Pop,Pop Goes My Mind” which CTC did the original production. Also on the CD features Gerald Albright and Kevin Toney just to name a few. Craig T's 8th album “HOUR GLASS” featuring Ronnie Laws, Kevin Toney, Val Watson (Club Neuvou) and others, with a classic remake of Michael Jackson's Smash Hit "Butterflies", and yes it's simply mesmerizing.
Craig T's 9th CD is entitled "NASTY MAN", which features living legend
Ronnie Laws and his son Jaman Laws
on sax, legendary drummer Ndugu Chancler, The Blackbyrds
own Kevin Toney, The Gifted Pianist Aya
Craig T. was blessed to not only do session work for the sitcom "The BERNIE MAC SHOW", but also had Bernie's opening song for his stand-up act "Darkman Pt III". Craig T. Toured with LSG (Gerald LeVert, Keith Sweat & Johnny Gill), as their guitarist and featured on the Multi-platinum LSG release "ShakeDown", and hit gold single "Door Number One" from LSG's first album. Currently he’s back in the studio with Living Legend Saxophonist Ronnie Laws.
His long time friendship and musical association with Gerald LeVert, blessed him a gold record for the hit
single “Baby You Are” which he co-wrote and
produced for the late Gerald LeVert. This would
be Gerald's last gold record before his passing. Craig T is currently touring
as M.D/Guitarist with the world-renowned neo-soul & r&b
Whew! Did I get it all? I’m sure I left something out but if you want to get some serious sounds first hand, contact Craig T. on his web-site…… WWW.CRAIGTCOOPER.COM or E-mail DARKMN_CRAIGT@MSN.COM and take a look/listen/chat for yourself. You won’t be disappointed!!!