The Whale
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The Whale

Band Jazz Avant-garde


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music


"Austin Chronicle"

"The Whale Trio is out there in Austin venues challenging people's notions of free jazz, improvisation, and music in general. Their full-length CD-R, Where There's a Willy There's the Whale, finds saxman Craig Johnson and band blasting fiercely, but with an ear cocked toward restraint and cohesion." - Michael Chamy - Texas Platters


2 self released cd's

03-01-02 - Heisenberg
04-20-03 - Where There's a Willy There's the whale


Feeling a bit camera shy


The Whale was born in the summer of 2001 when Austin drummer Kory Cook decided to encourage local jazz musicians to throw away their fake book for something beyond the standards. Cook met saxophone player Craig Johnson and they began their musical journey as a drums/sax duo, shredding in local rock clubs, coffee houses and theatre hideouts alike. Bass player Adam Jones joined The Whale six months later and the group fine-tuned their sound with a more solid but still highly improvisational foundation.

The Whale exhausted the rock scene, performing in local clubs like Emo’s, Room 710, Beerland, and Flamingo Cantina. A regular 2-month stint at Ruta Maya Coffee House allowed the group to invite local players up to the stage for adventurous evenings of music. Performances at the Church of the Friendly Ghost have the Whale packing the house in East Austin, proving that there is an enthusiastic audience for this challenging music. The Whale recently graced the stages of the Victory Grill for the Austin Jazz and Arts Festival 2004, performing with local avant-garde sax master Alex Coke. The trio has appeared live on KOOP Radio’s Expressive Movements with PG Moreno and KVRX’s Local Live show respectively. Local NPR affiliate KUT supports the group with scheduled performance announcements and airplay.

Members of The Whale have spread their musical seed across the Austin landscape for almost a decade. Cook has been the percussive energy behind the rock band Sons of Hercules since 1996, and has performed with dozens of musicians in a variety of musical settings. Johnson hasn’t put his sax down since he first heard John Coltrane Live at the Village Vanguard. He now brings his sound to locals Nervous Exits. Jones sits in the drum chair with I Admit Nothing and plucks the guitar with Teenage Dog, completing numerous recordings from his studio.

The Whale are currently rehearsing with Carl Smith’s E.C.F.A and the ten-piece band Slaughter Capacity for scheduled ’05 shows. The trio holds dozens of house sessions and recorded live performances that will be compiled for a CD to be released in 2005.

For information contact: The Whale at or (512) 478-9765