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George Coleman


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There are two musicians by the name of George Coleman:

#1 George Edward Coleman (born March 8, 1935) is an American hard bop saxophonist, bandleader, and composer, known chiefly for his work with Miles Davis and Herbie Hancock in the 1960s.

#2 George “Bongo Joe” Coleman (Haines City, FL, on November 28, 1923 - December 19, 1999) was a street musician, percussionist and singer famous for his distinctive-sounding home-made drum kits built out of oil drums and for his humorous lyrics and whistling.

#1 Saxophonist George Coleman was born in Memphis, Tennessee. He was taught how to play the alto saxophone in his teens by his older brother Lucian Adams, inspired (like many jazz musicians of his generation) by Charlie Parker. Among his schoolmates were Harold Mabern, Booker Little, Frank Strozier, Hank Crawford, and Charles Lloyd. After working with Ray Charles, Coleman started working with B.B. King in 1953, at which point he switched to tenor saxophone. In 1956 Coleman moved to Chicago, along with Booker Little, where he worked with Gene Ammons and Johnny Griffin before joining Max Roach Quintet 1958–1959. Coleman recorded with organist Jimmy Smith’s Houseparty (1957), with Lee Morgan, Curtis Fuller, Kenny Burrell, and Donald Bailey. Moving to New York with Max Roach in that year, he went on to play with Slide Hampton (1959–1962), Ron Carter, Jimmy Cobb, and Wild Bill Davis (1962), before joining Miles Davis Quintet in 1963–1964.


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  • chancer

    Bongo Joe FTW!

    13 Aug 2011 Reply
  • Zer0_II

    George "Bongo Joe" Coleman > jazz saxophonist George Coleman

    9 Sep 2009 Reply
  • gakko

    There´s obviously 2 different George Coleman´s sharing this page... 1) the hardbop saxophonist who played with Miles in the 60´s 2) the street musician George "Bongo Joe" Coleman.

    11 Jul 2009 Reply
  • Matt1113

    Big up Bongo Joe!

    7 Feb 2009 Reply

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