Victor Coulsen

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Victor Coulsen
Also known as Vic Coulsen, Vic Coulson, Vic Couslen
Genres Jazz, bebop
Occupation(s) Trumpeter
Instruments Trumpet
Associated acts Al Tinney, Coleman Hawkins

Victor "Vic" Coulsen (dates unknown) was an American jazz trumpeter.

Often referred to as Vic Coulsen, Vic Coulson, and even Vic Couslen,[1] Coulsen was a member of the resident band at the Monroe's club, under Al Tinney's direction from as early as 1940.[2]

Coulsen has often been remembered has having had a seminal influence on the phrasing of early bebop by the likes of Thelonious Monk,[1] Miles Davis,[3] Dizzy Gillespie[4] and several others - Charlie Parker[5] among them. Parker remembers Coulsen (here spelled "Coulson") "playing things I'd never heard before", and states that the music he heard on those nights at Monoroe's caused him to quit Jay McShann's band and relocate to New York City.[5]

These testimonies make Coulsen one of the founding fathers (albeit a minor one) of the bebop idiom. Unfortunately, Coulsen never recorded, except for some tracks taken in 1944 with an orchestra led by Coleman Hawkins, where he performs in the trumpet section, taking no solos.[2]

Nothing is known of Coulsen's early life. After 1945, according to Al Tinney's testimony,[2] Coulsen became an alcoholic (a "wino", in Tinney's words) falling back into obscurity.


  1. ^ a b Gottlieb, Bill (24 September 1947). "Thelonious Monk -- Genius Of Bop". Down Beat. Retrieved 7 June 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c DeVeaux, Scott (1999). The Birth of Bebop: A Social and Musical History. University of California Press. p. 233. ISBN 978-0520216655. 
  3. ^ Feather, Leonard. "Somethin' Else". The Cannonball Adderley Rendez-vous. Retrieved 7 June 2013. 
  4. ^ Gillespie, Dizzy and Al Fraser (2009). To Be, or Not . . . to Bop. Univ Of Minnesota Press. ISBN 978-0816665471. 
  5. ^ a b Martin, Henry; Keith Waters (2008). Essential Jazz: The First 100 Years (2 ed.). Cengage Learning. ISBN 978-0495505259.