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Coleman, George (Edward)

mid memphis tenor jazz

Coleman, George (Edward), jazz/R&B tenor, alto and soprano saxophonist, leader, keyboardist; b. Memphis, Term., March 8, 1935. His background was in blues and R&B; he had two stints in B.B. King’s band during the early and mid-1950s. He left Memphis for Chicago with Booker Little (1957), and the duo joined Max Roach’s quintet (1958–59). Coleman then worked in several bands during the 1960s, most famously Miles Davis’ quintet (1963–64), as well as groups led by Lionel Hampton, Lee Morgan, Elvin Jones, Shirley Scott, and Cedar Walton. He also worked with his wife, bassist/ vocalist/organist Gloria Bell Coleman. He writes for groups of all sizes and plays many gigs at colleges. Coleman has been a leader since the late 1960s, heading quintets, quartets, and octets; his octet played at the Camden Jazz Festival (1981). His students include Ned Otter. During the 1990s, he has worked in a quartet that usually featured pianist Harold Mabern. He was part of a “Jazz Tenor Battle Royale” held at N.Y.’s Lincoln Center in the mid-1990s.

Coleman, Omette (Randolph Denard) [next] [back] Coleman, Gary (1968–)

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