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*George Coleman was born on this date in 1935. He is a Black jazz saxophonist.
George Edward Coleman was born in Memphis, Tennessee. His older brother, Lucian Adams, taught him how to play the alto saxophone in his teens. Among his schoolmates was Charles Lloyd. After working with Ray Charles and B.B. King in 1953, he switched to tenor saxophone. 1956, Coleman moved to Chicago, where he worked with Gene Ammons and Johnny Griffin before joining Max Roach's quintet (1958–1959).
Coleman recorded with Jimmy Smith, Lee Morgan, Curtis Fuller, Kenny Burrell, and Donald Bailey. Moving to New York City, 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. Shortly after this concert, Coleman left the band and was replaced by Wayne Shorter. Nevertheless, Davis retained a high opinion of Coleman's playing, stating, "George played everything almost perfectly...He was a hell of a musician."
Coleman played with Lionel Hampton (1965–1966), also in 1965 on Chet Baker's The Prestige Sessions, with Kirk Lightsey, Herman Wright, and Roy Brooks. Clark Terry, Horace Silver, Elvin Jones, Shirley Scott, Cedar Walton, Charles Mingus, Ahmad Jamal, and others. Coleman was married to jazz organist Gloria Coleman. They had two children, including jazz drummer George Coleman Jr., and divorced. He also appeared in the science-fiction film Freejack (1992). Coleman recorded in the 2000s. His CD as co-leader, Four Generations of Miles: A Live Tribute to Miles, was released in October 2002.
He was featured on Joey DeFrancesco's 2006 release Organic Vibes, along with vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson. He was named an NEA Jazz Master to the Memphis Music Hall of Fame in 2015 and received a brass note on the Beale Street Brass Notes Walk of Fame.