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Hardbopjazz

George Coleman

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I am very sorry to hear the sad news that this thread brings. I hope I don't see George in the described condition—very sad.

This was George in December of 1961, when I did a Howard McGhee session.

61-5.jpg61-6.jpg

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

many many many - late Trane, Ornette, Eric Dolphy, anything "out;" piano-wise, anything post-Tyner. Post 1966 Miles. Etc.

I love Barry personally, but he is VERY (or used to be, probably still is) conservative on these things. If it ain't bebop, it ain't right. Liked Jaki Byard, with reservations.

(also did not like O.P., but for different reasons).

Edited by AllenLowe

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JSangry, how are those Elvin Jones records on Honeydew?

Bootleg like a mo, and not anybody's "best" work. But still fun!

The one to look for is an Elvin trio side on Enja - a trio side w/George & Wilbur Little (+ Hannibal on one cut). There's a loooooooong version of "Laura", where the song's natural harmonic construction & the player's (Coleman's) natural affinity towards dissecting changes are as blissfully happy together as Lucy & Desi before things went bad.

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

many many many - late Trane, Ornette, Eric Dolphy, anything "out;" piano-wise, anything post-Tyner. Post 1966 Miles. Etc.

I love Barry personally, but he is VERY (or used to be, probably still is) conservative on these things. If it ain't bebop, it ain't right. Liked Jaki Byard, with reservations.

(also did not like O.P., but for different reasons).

One of the musicians who subscribes to this forum once told me that Barry Harris stated to him that he didn't care for Tyner either.

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Sorry to hear that Mr. Coleman is having difficulties.

And Chris, thank you for "The Sharp Edge." It is a fine, fine record.

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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

Checking in from a distance. I've always liked George's work. Saw him live once in Toronto. Good stuff. Also the Big George Octet LP is a favorite. The CD Brownie mentions I have here with me on vacation. Just listened to it the other day. George's playing on this CD is as good or better than anything I've ever heard from him; in fact, to be honest, even among this heavyweight band, he may be the "star" of the set.

Edited by John Tapscott

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A couple of other recordings of George Coleman as sideman that I like a lot are these below.

Louis Smith - Just Friends - Steeplechase

Ahmad Jamal - Olympia 2000 - Dreyfus

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I'll be sure to play some George Coleman tonight. One of those sessions on the Elvin Jones Mosaic, for sure (particularly the one where he is teamed with Joe Farrell and Lee Morgan :tup ).

Edited by sidewinder

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Although Coleman only appears on two tracks, they are both excellent, and the album as a whole is one of my very favorite Jamal albums:

31XCYQ0RT0L._SL500_AA300_.jpg

Well worth picking up.

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Saw George in the summer of 2000 with a re-formed Octet at Smoke, with an impressive group of younger guys including Rotondi, Smulyan, and Ned Otter as music director, and with Mabes in the piano chair. Great show, and there was a CD of the group available, too. I remember too how Smulyan was standing next to Rotondi and in the ensembles would have to play with one hand as the other was cupped over the ear closest to the trumpet.

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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

Kevin, that is exactly it. He just couldn't hit some notes and at times seemed to be lost and didn't know how to solo. Age will do us all in in time.

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The last time I saw George was around 1999 or 2000 when he played at the Healdsburg Jazz Festival. He was on the bill before Pharoah Sanders and I was really looking forward to hearing him, thinking he would be the better of the two. Although George was very good, it was Pharoah's day to shine. He was just really on that day, so much so that George's performance seemed a little muted by comparison. The only other time I saw George Coleman was at a benefit for Billy Higgins where he was one of many people on the stage that evening. He was on fire that night which is why I had expectations at the Healdsburg show that he would do more of the same. Everyday can't be your best day though and I hope he was just having a bad night when the O.P. saw him recently.

One album I really like by George Coleman that no one has mentioned yet is Convergence with Richie Beirach. Their interplay on that duo album is amazing.

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I have seen George blow the roof off the joint on more than one occasion. His mastery of chord changes has brought criticism from some corners, but he's got a unique style and it's sad that he seems to be losing it. Let's hope this is just temporary.

That said, I just head James Moody's latest on IPO, and at 83 Moody still sounds fine. Perhaps a little more subdued than before, but still able to muster up a fair amount of heat.

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I just posted a selection from my 1961 Howard McGhee session. I really like George Coleman's work here.

I will be posting more from this session, because the album is not easy to find.

HowardMcGheeHEAD.jpg

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Nice clip Chris. Thanks.

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I first heard him on that Miles at Antibes album and it became one of my favourite albums. I saw him once in Vienna around 1979 with about the same group as his famous "Amsterdam at Dark". Hilton Ruiz on piano, Billy Higgins on drums (I was a huge Billy Higgins fan) and I think Ray Drummond on bass instead of Sam Jones who is on the album.

George Colman was in his prime when I saw him, like everybody else I saw during that time. All those great tenor players, Joe Henderson, George Coleman, Archie Shepp, Pharoah Sanders, Sonny Rollins, Dexter Gordon, Johnny Griffin, they all were in their late forties, early fifties and playing on the peak of their powers, so I really heard some music.

I remember George Coleman played a lot of music from his "Amsterdam" album, his latest album, and he was great, and his sidemen too. And he was such a nice person.

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I remember George Coleman played a lot of music from his "Amsterdam" album, his latest album, and he was great, and his sidemen too. And he was such a nice person.

i believe George is still a very nice person who has been dealing with diabetes, hip problems and some other stuff. i can't play like i used to (at anything these days)!! LOL

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I first heard him on that Miles at Antibes album and it became one of my favourite albums. I saw him once in Vienna around 1979 with about the same group as his famous "Amsterdam at Dark". Hilton Ruiz on piano, Billy Higgins on drums (I was a huge Billy Higgins fan) and I think Ray Drummond on bass instead of Sam Jones who is on the album.

Saw him in 1979 too ! He had Herbie Lewis on bass, plus Hilton and Billy in the quartet (I think I mentioned this in an earlier post). George's playing was masterful on the couple of occasions I saw him then (as was Mr Higgins) - I remember he started one of the sets off with his composition 'Free Flow' (which is on Lee Morgan's 'The Procrastinator' CD) and it was an absolute tour de force in terms of tenor technique. Much of the rest of the material played was from the 'Amsterdam After Dark' LP which they had either just recorded - or were about to record, on that tour.

Edited by sidewinder

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George Coleman was one of the first of the "old" guys I saw live... when he was on tour with Ahmad Jamal (there's an official release from Paris).

They played a long (85min) festival set, Jamal opening in trio (with James Cammack and a fiery Idris Muhammad) and after half an hour, Coleman joined. I got in for free (or rather: for handing out some flyers at the end) and was standing at the side, but right front, a few metres next to Coleman, watching him play... very fond memories there!

Never managed to catch him again afterwards, not even sure he ever made it to a nearby place.

Anyway, that Zurich concert was broadcast in its entirety and I revisited it many times!

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Last time I saw George Coleman he was 'in tandem' with Johnny Griffin. Sadly, one of the last performances of the Little Giant over here.

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