“A legend in free music”
– Gilles Peterson
For Alto saxophonist and flutist Alan Braufman (b. Brooklyn, 1951) and pianist/multi-instrumentalist Cooper-Moore (b. Loudoun County, Virginia, 1946) began working together in Boston around 1969 while Braufman was studying at Berklee. By 1973, along with saxophonist David S. Ware, bassist Chris Amberger, and drummer Marc Edwards, they had relocated to New York and mi nus Edwards, all were occupying a TriBeCa walk-up at 501 Canal Street. A solid two years of living around one another and playing in the loft’s storefront performance and rehearsal space resulted in Braufman’s 1975 LP Valley of Search (India Navigation 1024, reissued in 2018 as Valley of Search 001). Until recently, Valley of Search was an out-of-print rarity documenting serious loft-era improvised music, but within its stark black and white cover art and heavy weight vinyl grooves was a discographical marker of friendship. After all, music is a sharing of information, beliefs, emotions, and spiritual connection developed from camaraderie, and ide ally it results in lasting sonic and personal relationships.
Just shy of forty years later, Braufman, bassist William Parker, and Cooper-Moore convened for a small concert at the latter’s East Harlem apartment – the first time the two had made mu sic together since the 1980s. As Braufman puts it, “Cooper-Moore and I have this relationship – he’s my best friend, and I’m not one to stay in touch with people so my best friends are those where we don’t talk for two years, the next time we talk it’s like we never stopped. Cooper Moore, we always had that baseline of communication that doesn’t change. He called me up one day and said ‘next time you visit, let’s do this.’ He arranged it and that was that.” This aus picious new beginning was followed by a concert at Manna House, a music school and venue run by Bertha Hope, where the trio was supplanted by saxophonists Darius Jones and Brian Price and drummer Chad Taylor, as well as a 2016 Vision Festival performance with Braufman, Price, Cooper-Moore, and percussionist Michael Wimberly.