There is little information available online about Cortex’s elusive founding member, Alain Mion. Born in Casablanca shortly after World War II, Mion was raised in Paris. By the late 1960s, he had formed his own trio, and was regularly gigging in Parisian nightclubs, as well as sitting in with visiting Americans such as Hank Mobley and Philly Joe Jones. In 1974, Mion founded Cortex with drummer Alain Gandolfini, and recruited talented session musicians, as well the singer Mirelle Dalbray to round out the group. Their first two albums, Troupeau Bleu and Vol. 2, brought them great attention across Europe from TV and radio stations and remain their most well-known works. Mion is reportedly the most sampled artist from France, with WhoSampled tracking 124 samples of Cortex, being sampled by artists such as Rick Ross, Lupe Fiasco, and the equally mysterious MF DOOM.
Today, their impact among instrumental acts remains stronger than ever. Groups like High Pulp, Hiatus Kaiyote, and many others are descended from the group’s psychedelic blend of Funk and Jazz. The music of Cortex has shaped tastes that will continue to impact future generations.