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Bill Coleman

Bill Coleman was an independently thinking trumpet player with a distinctive & tasteful personal style.

Initially inspired by Louis Armstrong, Bill Coleman developed an eloquently fluid and melodic voice of his own.  During the '40s and '50s he experimented with bop but returned to his own classic style in later years.

He was very successful from the early '20s through the '40s.  He performed  or recorded with Fats Waller, Luis Russell, Andy Kirk, Mary Lou Williams, Dickie Wells, Benny Carter, John Kirby and Teddy Hill.  Starting about 1933 he began traveling the world splitting his time between the US and France, where he lived after 1948.  He also toured in Bombay, Egypt, Japan and the Philippines.

In Europe Coleman recorded with Django Reinhardt, Lucky Millinder, Freddy Taylor and Frank 'Big Boy' Goudie.  He was a mainstay during several stints in Paris in the very popular Willie Lewis orchestra.  His lifelong travels took him to Bombay, Egypt, Japan and the Philippines.

Born August of 1904 near Paris, Kentucky he died in August 1981 in Toulouse, France.  His autobiography called Trumpet Story was published by Northeastern University Press in 1991.

Bill Coleman
spent most of his performing years in Europe.

Bill Coleman, featured in the series Three Americans in Paris:

Bill Coleman Pt. 1
Americans in Paris
Introducing Bill Coleman, travels in Europe and tasteful style.

Bill Coleman Pt. 2
Americans in Paris
Considering Bill Coleman and Frank Goudie; two renditions of his "Joe Louis Stomp:" one by Coleman and one by Leon Oakley leading the Jack Buck Jazz Band, 1987.


Frank Goudie in Paris

Frank Goudie in France


Bill Coleman NY Times obit

Bill Coleman on Wikipedia