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 Washington D.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 1997. 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 exception. 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.
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 the 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. Feel free to contact Coco here if you have any comments or questions.