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Hardbopjazz

George Coleman

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I really like George Coleman's playing. I last saw him at the beginning of this year at the Jazz Standard in NYC. It was so sad. He had lost his chops. In fact the person that checked your reservations at the door had to grab his horn and come on stage to play with George. It reminded me of the last years of Freedie Hubbard and how he lost his chops on the trumpet. Has anyone seen him live in the past 5 to 6 months? I may go and see him at Birdland, but I don't want to see a prize fighter fight one too many fights.

Edited by Hardbopjazz

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sorry to hear that. Great player, a little schematic for my taste, but taught a lot of people and did some great work.

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sorry to hear that. Great player, a little schematic for my taste, but taught a lot of people and did some great work.

My sentiments exactly.

The guy was really, really into scales & extrapolating patterns from them, but beofer he got into that, he had a nice singing, bluesy lyricism which always underpinned his later developments & differentiated him from a lot of his peers (and followers) in a most pleasant manner.

I once learned his solo on "All Of You" from Miles In Europe to get a taste of what he was really into, and it was a very rewarding study. The logic behind what he did became quite apparent then.

That such a consummate saxophonist is now struggling to play is indeed sad. People like that live to play, and...it's gotta be tough now for him, that's all.

Edited by JSngry

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George Coleman is a monster. I'm sorry to hear he is struggling. Is there a health problem? Is he not working much these days?

I loved his stint with Miles. Miles in Europe is a personal favorite.

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Yeah, same here.

I'm in the (apparent) minority who prefers Miles In Europe to the Four & More/My Funny Valentine set.

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He is still working a lot in NY. I'm hoping he wasn't well that night at the Jazz Standard and will be in top form at Birdland when I go see him again.

Edited by Hardbopjazz

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Yeah, same here.

I'm in the (apparent) minority who prefers Miles In Europe to the Four & More/My Funny Valentine set.

I love 'em all. But MIE is my favorite.

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That's too bad, and I hope that was a one night or short-term issue for him. I'm not a musician, so can't comment on the technical aspects of his playing, but i enjoy him a lot. In my early days of jazz listening, a friend recommended Amsterdam After Dark, which i still really love. That and Manhattan Panorama are my two favorites of his leader albums.

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I really like George Coleman's playing on the Chet Baker series on Prestige, as well as on the recordings he did with Miles.

Talk about being in the minority - I actually prefer the Miles recording with Coleman to those with Wayne

Shorter. I am a big fan of Wayne Shorter's playing on his Blue Note dates such as SPEAK NO EVIL and NIGHT DREAMER and others as well as his sideman sessions with Lee Morgan.

But for me, with Miles, Rollins, and Coltrane and (though not at the level of the two just mentioned) Coleman were more musically satisfying than was Shorter. I recognize that the odds are high that I may be all alone with this opinion.

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I hope that he's okay too. Definitely one of my favorite tenor players. That octet album, Big George, has always knocked me out. Some tasty Frank Strozier on there too for starters...

Edited by Bill Barton

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Count me among the fans of Coleman's playing with Miles Davis. Don't know much of the man's output beyond that, other than a Yoshi's live date from the '70s kicking around here somewhere, which is quite enjoyable. Sorry to hear that his playing may be suffering lately.

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The version of "Soul Eyes" here is really fantastic!

If fact, everyone here is playing at his best:

cover.jpg

George Coleman - At Yoshi's

08/01/1987

Evidence

Credits:

George Coleman - Sax (Tenor),

Harold Mabern - Piano

Ray Drummond - Bass

Alvin Queen - Drums

01 - They Say It's Wonderful

02 - Good Morning Heartache

03 - Laig Gobblin' Blues

04 - Io

05 - Up Jumped Spring

06 - Father

07 - Soul Eye

I've heard that he's not playing much for whatever reason.

In the early eighties, I heard him for almost a solid week, every set, at the Blue Note, they ( Coleman, Maybern, Idris Muhamad and Jamil Nasser) were so good.

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Yeah, same here.

I'm in the (apparent) minority who prefers Miles In Europe to the Four & More/My Funny Valentine set.

I love 'em all. But MIE is my favorite.

Then I am in rare but superb company!

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Don't know much of the man's output beyond that...

The Chet Baker dates mentioned earlier are pretty groovy, but I really dig his work with Elvin, just because that's where he can unabashedly indulge his propensity for "musical mathematics". I'd not necessarily call them his most "musical" by my standards, but then again, maybe so by his.

No matter, it's just good playing, period. Ironically, though, I don't dig his duets w/Tete M. so much. Too much math there for me. but with Elvin...hell,"with Elvin", that really says it all right there, eh?

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Man, that's a shame. Was listening to his great playing on the "Endless Miles" disc, and his playing on those two Joey DeFrancesco albums from a few years ago is excellent too.

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That's too bad, and I hope that was a one night or short-term issue for him. I'm not a musician, so can't comment on the technical aspects of his playing, but i enjoy him a lot. In my early days of jazz listening, a friend recommended Amsterdam After Dark, which i still really love. That and Manhattan Panorama are my two favorites of his leader albums.

George Coleman was at the Village Vanguard my first visit there (in 1984 or so)--they were recording, and the recording was released as Manhattan Panorama, I believe.

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The version of "Soul Eyes" here is really fantastic!

If fact, everyone here is playing at his best:

cover.jpg

George Coleman - At Yoshi's

08/01/1987

That's the one. I was off by a dozen years or so ... :o

Good album.

The Chet Baker dates mentioned earlier are pretty groovy, but I really dig his work with Elvin, just because that's where he can unabashedly indulge his propensity for "musical mathematics". ...

Will look into those, thanks. Prompted by this thread to fire up the Miles Davis In Europe disc earlier. Very nice. The man could certainly fly around the keypad with abandon -- or mathematical precision.

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Really hope there's nothing wrong with him!

Surprised that his outstanding contribution to the Miles Davis Live at the 1963 Monterey Jazz Festival CD seems to have gone almost unnoticed!

51zsSWDQf1L._SL500_AA280_.jpg

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Hope he's OK too. Big fan here. One of my all time favourite players - very first time at Ronnie Scotts was to hear him with Hilton Ruiz, David Williams (EDIT - no, it was Herbie Lewis !) and Billy Higgins. George was on phenomenal form that night - what an introduction to live hard bop !

Around the same time, caught his excellent Octet with Frank Strozier, Harold Mabern, Mario Rivera and Danny Moore in the lineup.

I think the most recent time I've seen him must have been his performance at QEH London, I think, along with Johnny Griffin and Julian Joseph. He played very nicely with Griff that night. Prior to that, caught him in a free open air concert with Billy Higgins and Cedar Walton in LA back in 1999 I think (I've got some photos of that gig).

Edited by sidewinder

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A favourite of mine since being bewitched by My Funny Valentine and then Amsterdam After Dark in the early days of my jazz listening.

Seemed to be a regular in the UK - I got to see him at Cheltenham about ten years ago; I think the late Martin Drew was on drums, though I might be wrong.

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interestingly, he is the only player of that school that I ever heard Barry Harris talk well of (Barry has a pretty strict personal definition of the way to play correctly).

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There is an impressive discography at the George Coleman website:

http://www.georgecoleman.com/discography_frame_index.html

He's also someone who has been pretty available on roio recordings from the last 35 years or so. Count me as another who actually prefers Miles w/Coleman to Miles w/Shorter. Another landmark date George was on is Maiden Voyage. JSangry, how are those Elvin Jones records on Honeydew?

Edited by Tom in RI

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I hope that he's okay too. Definitely one of my favorite tenor players. That octet album, Big George, has always knocked me out. Some tasty Frank Strozier on there too for starters...

A hearty amen to that! BIG GEORGE is a terrific album. Having owned the LP for many years and unable to locate a CD copy, I recently transferred it to a CD-R, put it in my I-Tunes menu, etc. The arrangement of "Green Dolphin Street" is a killer. Great takes of "Frank's Tune", "Body and Soul" as well.

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I saw George two weeks ago. The first thing I thought when he walked out was, "Oh my god - he looks so OLD". I had to look up his age when I got home. 75. Wow. I don't know why, but I thought 75 looked younger.

The show was OK. Harold Mabern was the highlight. Mabes can still play his ass off. George seemed to run out of ideas and he seemed to struggle to hit some of the high notes. He certainly doesn't have the stamina he used to. It's like he runs out of breath. Maybe his circular breathing technique isn't working? He used to do at least two circular breathing solos. I think he only tried it once.

To be honest, when I saw George 10 years ago, he didn't have the stamina then either. I think he's just gotten old.

Kevin

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interestingly, he is the only player of that school that I ever heard Barry Harris talk well of (Barry has a pretty strict personal definition of the way to play correctly).

stupid question maybe, but: which school/players are the ones Harris considers as not playing correctly in this context?

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