Jonathan Cooke
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Jonathan Cooke


Band Alternative Pop


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The best kept secret in music


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2007: Cosmic Casino (LP)


Feeling a bit camera shy


The title of Jonathan Cooke’s first solo release ‘Cosmic Casino’ implies many things: heaven; life as a gamble; facing each day as a game and playing it earnestly; the psychedelic and abstract nature of the universe. “You get a clear sense of this when you listen to the music and words, even without ingesting strange substances”, says Cooke in his characteristic good humour, which is usually directed at himself. Cooke ‘loves playing the game’ but is quick to remind himself never to take it all, or himself, too seriously.

Cooke’s roots are in Ottawa, Canada. It was there that he first met Dave Draves, acclaimed Canadian producer (Kathleen Edwards, Jim Bryson, Kate Makie, Julie Doiron, Wooden Stars), who would later collaborate with Cooke on the Cosmic Casino recording. Now living in Paris, Cooke has been holding audiences captive with no more than a guitar, a piano and his voice in local venues in France and London. After a few years as singer songwriter in the Paris-based pop rock band ‘The Exiles’, Cooke decided to go solo.

He hooked up with Draves again a couple of years ago to record a few demos. It was during these sessions that they worked out the spontaneous arrangements and rough-around-the-edges playing styles that can be heard on ‘Cosmic Casino’. The album was recorded and produced by Draves at Little Bullhorn Studio in Ottawa. Cooke and Draves play all the instruments on ‘Cosmic Casino’, and the fact they have known each other for twenty years drives the musical cohesiveness.