Coo Moe Jhee
Coo Moe has always loved music and has always known he would one day play professionally. Ever since he was a little boy, he loved the sound of the bass. “I clearly remember making my first bass. It was a wooden stick with rubber bands of different sizes nailed into wood. Every time a tune came on the radio that I liked, I plucked the instrument to get the sound I wanted. It was all I could afford at the time. But I made the best of it. And when I look back on it, it makes me smile because I am still building basses today”.
The Launch Pad
Coo Moe started playing professionally in 1970 with his first band called The Seven Shades of Black. This band was an R&B band that played music from Sly & The Family Stone, Rare Earth, and Kool and The Gang. Throughout his formative years in NYC, he played multiple genres of music with The Steve Jordan Band, XYZ Affair, Cross Bronx Expressway, Visions Band, Solo Rhythm Band, and Teddy Oliver Band to name a few.
Over the years, Coo Moe has perfected a smooth, polished and creative style that energizes his audiences. His grooves and riffs are a unique compilation of his study of some of the greatest bass players that have ever picked up the instrument. "There are lots of great bass players out there on the local, national and international level. I respect the gifts they all have and am inspired by their unique styles and contributions. I am guilty of taking something from them all."
Grooving on The Bass
Coo Moe is well known and respected for his "pocket" playing. His grooves are not complicated. They are just simple, tasty and catchy. Everything he does, hinges on this simple analogy. That is, "the rhythm section is to music like the foundation is to a house. If the foundation is strong then the house has a chance to be good. If the foundation is weak, then the house is not good no matter how hard you try to dress it up. The same goes for music. As the bass player in the band, I have a pivotal role. I am the linkage between the harmony and the rhythm. So I always try to lock in with the drummer and play the right groove so that the band sounds tight."
Being a pocket player demands a lot of responsibility. Not only do you have to hold time but you have to play bass lines that signal to the band where we all are in the chord progression. "This is not easy. There are lots of times when I want to stretch out and play some complicated stuff. But I always try to pull myself back, because I know that in the end, the simple stuff always works better."
Getting The Girls Dancing
Most Women come out to the gigs because they love to dance. "My wife always tells me if I want to be considered a great bass player then I need to forget about all the fancy stuff and get the girls out on the dance floor. So that is what I try to do. At the end of the day, I measure myself on how often I get the girls out of their seats and out on the dance floor."
Energizing the Fans
The fans are always excited to see Coo Moe perform because he brings lots of energy and has an infectious smile. They also know sooner or later things are going to heat up and he will be out there on the dance floor with them. “When I am playing the right groove, and me and the drummer are hitting it on all cylinders, my body starts to move like it has a mind of its own. I see the fans out there dancing and having a good time and that makes me want to get into the act with them. It is a good feeling to be creating the music impromptu and enjoying it at the same time”.
Music is Love
When you net everything out, it all comes to one thing--Music Is Love!!! Music is a universal language that everyone understands and can partake in. It crosses all boundaries and knows no limitations. It brings people together and eases life's pains. To be musical, you don't have to play an instrument. You just have to have an ear, a passion for it and a love of it.
As a musician, people can tell after you play your first note whether you love music or are in love with it. It is written in the DNA of every note you play. If you love it, your audience will feel that love. If you are in love with it, your audience will recognize the love and be taken up to a higher level of existence.