Todd Coolman

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Todd Coolman (born July 14, 1954) is a jazz bassist and a retired tenured Professor of Music at the Jazz Studies Program in the Conservatory of Music at Purchase College in Westchester County, New York.[1] He is also the former Artistic Director of the Skidmore Jazz Institute.[2]

Coolman playing the bass behind James Moody

Coolman grew up in Gary, Indiana.[3] In 1978 he moved to New York City. He has since then performed with Horace Silver, Gerry Mulligan, Art Farmer, Lionel Hampton, Benny Goodman, Slide Hampton, Stan Getz, Tommy Flanagan, and countless others. He is probably best known for his 26-year association with the James Moody Quartet. Coolman has recorded with numerous jazz musicians in many contexts and has also released four recordings under his own leadership: Tomorrows (1990), Lexicon (1995), Perfect Strangers (2008) and Collectables (2016). In 1999, Coolman won the Grammy Award for Best Album Notes for Miles Davis Quintet 1965-1968. In 2011 an album on which he played, James Moody's Moody 4B, won the Grammy Award for Best Jazz Instrumental Album, Individual or Group.

He has written two method books related to jazz bass playing: The Bass Tradition and The Bottom Line.

In 1997, Coolman received a Ph.D. in Music and the Performing Arts from New York University.[1]

He lives in Denville, New Jersey.[3][1]


As leader[edit]

As sideman[edit]

With James Moody
  • Moving Forward (1988)
  • Sweet and Lovely (1989)
  • Young at Heart (1996)
  • Moody Plays Mancini (1997)
  • Homage (2004)
  • Our Delight (2008)
  • Moody 4A (2009)
  • Moody 4B (2010)
With Michael Dease[4]
  • Bonafide (2018)
With Hal Galper Trio
  • Invitation to a Concert (1990)
  • Live at Port Townsend '91 (1991)
With David "Fathead" Newman
With Rob Schneiderman
With Gerald Wilson
With others


  1. ^ a b c Staudter, Thomas (5 February 2006). "The Professor Who Teaches By Doing". The New York Times. Retrieved 27 June 2016.
  2. ^ Jewell, Marcella (2 July 2012). "Five Questions for Todd Coolman". Retrieved 27 June 2016.
  3. ^ a b Stewart, Zan (5 March 2009). "Bassist Todd Coolman bases his life on sharing his music". New Jersey. Retrieved 27 June 2016.
  4. ^ "Posi-Tone Records - Michael Dease - Bonafide". Retrieved 2019-12-22.
  5. ^ "Todd Coolman | Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 14 April 2017.

External links[edit]