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Earl Coleman


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Earl Coleman (Port Huron, Michigan, August 12, 1925 - New York City, July 12, 1995) was an American jazz singer.

Moving to Indianapolis in 1939, he started singing with Ernie Fields and Bardu Ali. He joined the Jay McShann band in 1943 and later sang with Earl Hines, Billy Eckstine Orchestra and King Kolax.

Went with McShann to California and recorded with Charlie Parker, Fats Navarro and Max Roach in 1948.

In 1954, he worked with Gene Ammons and recorded with Art Farmer and Gigi Gryce. In 1956 he was with Sonny Rollins.

By 1960 he was recording as a leader and performed with Gerald Wilson. In 1962 he was with Don Byas in Paris and in the mid-60s with Billy Taylor and Frank Foster and with pianist Elmo Hope.

By 1980-1986 he was recording with organist Shirley Scott.

1968: Manhattan Serenade - Earl Coleman - with Jerome Richardson (fl) Billy Taylor (p) Frank Foster (ts) Tom McIntosh Eddie Williams (ts) Gene Bertoncini (g) Reggie Workman (b) Bobby Thomas (d).

As a youngster and young man, Earl Coleman lived with his mother, Adell, his grandmother, Mary Chalk, his step-grandfather Harry Chalk, and his aunt, Mary Chalk Washington Scott.

He was booked at a local hotel-bar near Denver, Colorado circa 1980s. During his stay, he met his cousins Cleotha Brown Bell from Mississippi and Clementine Washington Pigford from Denver. Other relatives in Denver included his cousins Eugene Washington and Vernie Lee Scott from Mississippi. Earl’s cousin,Revell Washington,was living in Minnesota at that time.

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