Bill Colemanwas 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.