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Bill Coleman - 1952

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Album Review

With such trumpet stars as Louis Armstrong, Red Allen, Rex Stewart, and Cootie Williams grabbing the headlines and the gigs, Bill Coleman found it hard to make a name for his own considerable talents during the nascent swing years. Like many other jazz figures (Coleman Hawkins, Benny Carter, etc.), Coleman looked to France and Europe for a chance to make a name for himself and catch a break from stateside racism. And while his trip to Paris came about with some luck — thanks to old friend Freddie Taylor and his need to recruit players for a nightclub stint — Coleman soon became an in-demand soloist for both live gigs and recording dates overseas. This generous Classics collection brings together his initial dates in the City of Light, both as a leader and with various top local outfits. Featured throughout the 22 tracks are such Parisian jazz luminaries as Django Reinhardt, Stephane Grappelly, Eddie Brunner, and Alix Combelle. Along with a solid batch of tunes, excellent playing all around, and Coleman's own melodiously clear solos, specific highlights include the Coleman-Reinhardt duet, "Bill Coleman Blues," the trumpeter's vocal turn on "Indiana," and two momentous takes of "After You've Gone." An excellent chronicle of one of jazz's most unsung talents.


Born: 04 August 1904 in Paris, KY

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '20s, '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s

A mellow-toned swing trumpeter with a distinctive sound and a lyrical style, Bill Coleman was a consistent if never particularly famous musician. In 1927, he went to New York with Cecil and Lloyd Scott's band, with whom he made his recording debut. He worked with Luis Russell (1929-1932) and Charlie Johnson, and then in 1933 traveled to France with Lucky Millinder. Coleman recorded with Fats Waller (1934) and played with Teddy Hill's Orchestra (1934-1935), but then moved to France for the first time...
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Bill Coleman - 1952, Bill Coleman
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