George Coleman

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
George Coleman
George Coleman at the Jazz Standard, October 2012.jpg
The George Coleman Quintet, 2012
Background information
Birth name George Edward Coleman
Born (1935-03-08) March 8, 1935 (age 82)
Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.
Genres Jazz, hard bop, post-bop
Occupation(s) Musician
Instruments Saxophone
Years active 1950s–present
Labels Evidence, Telarc, Theresa, Smoke Sessions
Associated acts Jimmy Smith, Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, B.B. King, Max Roach, Slide Hampton, Lionel Hampton, Ahmad Jamal, Joey DeFrancesco, Chet Baker
Website www.georgecoleman.com

George Edward Coleman (born March 8, 1935) is an American jazz saxophonist known for his work with Miles Davis and Herbie Hancock in the 1960s. In 2015, he was named an NEA Jazz Master.[1]

Early life[edit]

Coleman was born in Memphis, Tennessee. He was taught how to play the alto saxophone in his teens by his older brother Lucian Adams, inspired (like many jazz musicians of his generation) by Charlie Parker. Among his schoolmates were Harold Mabern, Booker Little, Frank Strozier, Hank Crawford, and Charles Lloyd.[2]

Later life and career[edit]

After working with Ray Charles, Coleman started working with B.B. King in 1953,[3] at which point he switched to tenor saxophone.[4] In 1956 Coleman moved to Chicago, along with Booker Little, where he worked with Gene Ammons and Johnny Griffin before joining Max Roach's quintet (1958–1959). Coleman recorded with organist Jimmy Smith on his album Houseparty (1957), along with Lee Morgan, Curtis Fuller, Kenny Burrell, and Donald Bailey. Moving to New York City with Max Roach in that year, he went on to play with Slide Hampton (1959–1962), Ron Carter, Jimmy Cobb, and Wild Bill Davis (1962), before joining Miles Davis' quintet in 1963–1964.[5]

His albums with Davis (and the rhythm section of Herbie Hancock (piano), Ron Carter (bass), and Tony Williams (drums)) are Seven Steps to Heaven (1963), A Rare Home Town Appearance (1963), Côte Blues (1963), In Europe (1963), My Funny Valentine, and Four & More, both live recordings of a concert in Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York City in February 1964. Shortly after this concert, Coleman was replaced by Wayne Shorter. Nevertheless, Davis retained a high opinion of Coleman's playing, stating that "George played everything almost perfectly...He was a hell of a musician." Coleman played with Lionel Hampton (1965–1966), also in 1965 on Chet Baker's The Prestige Sessions, with Kirk Lightsey, Herman Wright, and Roy Brooks.[6] Clark Terry, Horace Silver, Elvin Jones (1968), Shirley Scott (1972), Cedar Walton (1975), Charles Mingus (1977–1978), Ahmad Jamal (1994, 2000), and many others.

Coleman also appeared in the science-fiction film Freejack (1992), starring Emilio Estevez, Mick Jagger, and Anthony Hopkins; and 1996's The Preacher's Wife, with Denzel Washington and Whitney Houston.[7]

Coleman recorded into the 2000s. His CD as co-leader, Four Generations of Miles: A Live Tribute To Miles, with bassist Ron Carter, drummer Jimmy Cobb and guitarist Mike Stern was released on Chesky Records in October 2002, and it concentrates almost exclusively on the 1950s repertoire of Miles Davis. Tracks include: "There Is No Greater Love", "All Blues", "On Green Dolphin Street", "Blue in Green", "81", "Freddie Freeloader", "My Funny Valentine", "If I Were a Bell", and "Oleo". He was featured on Joey DeFrancesco's 2006 release Organic Vibes, along with vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson, Billboard's Top Jazz Album Chart, peaked to No. 17.[8]

Coleman was married to jazz organist Gloria Coleman and is father to jazz drummer George Coleman Jr.

He was named to the Memphis Music Hall of Fame in 2015, and received a brass note on the Beale Street Brass Notes Walk of Fame.[9]

Discography[edit]

As leader/co-leader[edit]

Year recorded Title Label Notes
1977 Meditation Timeless Duo, with Tete Montoliu (piano)
1977 Revival Catalyst; Affinity Octet; released as Big George in Europe
1978 Amsterdam After Dark Timeless Quartet, with Hilton Ruiz (piano), Sam Jones (bass), Billy Higgins (drums)
1979 Playing Changes Jazz House In concert at Ronnie Scott's
1985 Manhattan Panorama Theresa; Evidence Quartet, with Harold Mabern (piano), Jamil Nasser (bass), Idris Muhammad (drums); in concert
1989 At Yoshi's Theresa; Evidence Quartet, with Harold Mabern (piano), Ray Drummond (bass), Alvin Queen (drums); in concert
1990 Convergence Triloka Duo, with Richie Beirach (piano)
1991 My Horns of Plenty Birdology/Verve; Birdology/Dreyfus Quartet, with Harold Mabern (piano), Ray Drummond (bass), Billy Higgins (drums)
1995 Blues Inside Out Jazz House In concert at Ronnie Scott's
1996 Danger High Voltage Two & Four Octet
1998 I Could Write a Book: The Music of Richard Rodgers Telarc Quartet, with Harold Mabern (piano), Jamil Nasser (bass), Billy Higgins (drums)
2002 Four Generations of Miles: A Live Tribute To Miles Chesky Quartet, with Mike Stern (guitar), Ron Carter (bass), Jimmy Cobb (drums); in concert
2016 A Master Speaks Smoke Sessions Most tracks quartet, with Mike LeDonne (piano), Bob Cranshaw (bass), George Coleman Jr. (drums); one track quintet, with Peter Bernstein (guitar) added

As sideman[edit]

With Chet Baker

With Roy Brooks

With Miles Davis

With Joey DeFrancesco

With Slide Hampton

With Herbie Hancock

With Ahmad Jamal

With Elvin Jones

With Booker Little

With Harold Mabern

With Jack McDuff

With Charles Mingus

With Lee Morgan

With Idris Muhammad

With Don Patterson

With John Patton

With Duke Pearson

With Max Roach

With Shirley Scott

With Jimmy Smith

With Louis Smith

With Melvin Sparks

With Charles Tolliver

With Roseanna Vitro

With Mal Waldron

With Cedar Walton

With Reuben Wilson

With Paul (PB) Brown

  • Paul Brown Quartet Meets The Three Tenors (Brownstone, 1998)

References[edit]

  1. ^ "NEA Announces Lifetime Honors Recipients". National Endowment for the Arts. National Endowment for the Arts. Retrieved 26 June 2014. 
  2. ^ Vladimir, Bogdanov. All Music Guide to the Blues: The Definitive Guide to the Blues, Backbeat Books, page 133, (2003) - ISBN 0-87930-736-6
  3. ^ All About Jazz: George Coleman: This Gentleman can PLAY
  4. ^ Larkin, Colin. The Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music, Guinness, page 887, (1995) - ISBN 1-56159-176-9
  5. ^ Billboard: George Coleman bio
  6. ^ Yanow, Scott. Trumpet Kings: The Players Who Shaped the Sound of Jazz Trumpet, Backbeat Books, page 34, (2001) - ISBN 0-87930-640-8
  7. ^ IMDb: George Coleman
  8. ^ Billboard: Organic Vibes
  9. ^ Memphis Music Hall of Fame inductee George Coleman 2015

External links[edit]