Born in Paris, France, COCO ROUSSEL worked extensively with such
European-based groups as Heldon and Clearlight Symphony Orchestra before
moving to the U.S.A. in 1976 . He initially established residence in WashingtonD.C.
where he became the drummer for Arista recording group Happy The Man.
That association led to a long creative musical collaboration with Kit Watkins who
was the main keyboardist for that famed group.COCO moved to Los Angeles in
1987 where he has performed with such well-known artists as Michael Manring,
David Arkenstone, Winston Steward, Jeanne Tatum, and Carole Diamond.
Through his continual quest for an open improvisational musical expression,
COCO was introduced to two-like minded musicians, Teresa Russell and Bill
Breland ( a.k.a. “ Dr Billi “ ) in 1996. In joining with these two, the group Teresa
Russell and Cocobilli was formed as an aggressive blues-rock ensemble. The
group performs both original and cover material. In their performances, unexpected
improvisational musical motifs and rhythmic excursions are the norm rather than
The rhythm section par excellence Cobi Monde was initially conceived under
the umbrella of this association and concept.
COCO has created a unique set of simultaneously playable instruments that
he has named the DRUMHANDEX ( electronic and acoustic hand-drums and
percussion as well as keyboard synthesizer ). The conceptual shape of the
Drumhandex was established during a teaming with vocalist / guitarist Jani
Baldwin. They explored the creative possibilities of vocals, acoustic guitar, and
drumhandex to establish a notably new conceptual expression for a musical duo.
The continual evolution of the drumhandex led COCO and DR BILLI ( Cobi Monde
to begin using the concept within the context of drumhandex and bass duets.
These duets included the introduction of various processing effects and
repeating rhythmic bass loops ( created in real time as unique to each
performance) to create a harmonically enriched, global-rhythm approach to a
variety of musical genre’s while still maintaining the improvisational integrity that is
the ever-present goal of their musical association.
COCO continues to find a variety of musical expressions and opportunities
outside the Cobi Monde framework. One such notable association is with the
recording group Catahoula, a New Orleans style R&B vocal group that performs at
various clubs and festivals across California.
In the past few years, Coco has been working steadily with such artists as Pamela Clay in
her own woman shows, the ecclectic group Unkle Monkey and recently is involved with
the creative project of Dean de Benedictis called The Stratos Ensemble and also various
freelance work on demand.
COCO also works full-time as an inside salesman for PM Industrial Supply, a tool
supply distributor established in 1956. PMIS is a medium-sized company that caters to
machine shops in California and across the USA. The company specializes in precision
cutting tools, measuring instruments, and fluids.
COCO finds satisfaction in the way that his business and musical interests influence each
other, fully believing that each area complements the other. His position is that working with
precision tools has subtly influenced the creation of his Drumhandex set-up as well as its
continual modification and evolution; also that he tonal conversations that underlie musical
improvisations are directed toward the same types of goals as the conversatons he
experiences with his customers in the tool business - the willingness to be open to surprise
and resolve uncertainty in both areas has made him more aware of how the dynamics of ebb
and flow are important aspects of how creativity operates within each of us.
COCO has made clear that he embraces the variety of ideas that lies in each
of us; and whether in music or business, he welcomes the many influences that
arise as an IMPORTANT FACET IN HIS OWN CREATIVITY