Jeff Cohen, a Marin County native, started playing guitar in his early teens. Like so many others he got carried away with the English invasion of the Beatles, Stones, Kinks and the Who However, Jeff’s first main musical influences were pre-fifties jazz and bop musicians like Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie, and Louie Armstrong. He was also drawn to the progressive music of Miles Davis and John Coltrane.
As the 60s and 70s rolled around, Jeff got into rock, r&b, and funk. He was influenced by California artists like Frank Zappa, Earth Wind and Fire, Tower of Power, Terry Bozzio and the Sons of Chaplain. He took guitar lessons with Sons of Chaplain guitarist Terry Haggerty in addition to studying music composition at College of Marin and San Francisco State University.
Jeff continued to develop his music performance skills and toured throughout the 80s in Southeast Asia. He recorded a middle-eastern record with kanoon virtuoso
Jalal Takesh. In fact, Jeff was the first American artist torecord electric bass with belly dance music. He went on to do session work with other international artists including Indian tabla maestro Zakir Hussain and renowned Brazilian guitarist Jose Neto.
Jeff got to know Billy Bramblett back in the 70s when Billy was playing locally in the group “Space City”. Jeff’s band “Heavy Rope” often co-billed with Billy’s band. They had a lot of the same musical interests so when Billy formed “Billy Bee & the Stingers”, his rollicking nine-piece original r&b band, Jeff joined the group playing electric bass. The Stingers included some of the players that have reunited to record on Billy’s most recent album “Just Invoke the 33rd”, including RJ Franco, Dennis Desjardin and Lynn Ray Pardo. To promote the new CD, Billy, Jeff and seven others are performing together in Billy’s new aggregation “The Billylove Express”.