George Coleman: In Baltimore

Mike Jurkovic By

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George Coleman: In Baltimore
At 85, tenor saxophonist George Coleman has sat in on and made his presence mightily known on a host of flat out, hard bopping sessions beginning with B.B. King through Max Roach, Miles Davis, Booker Little, Lee Morgan, Herbie Hancock and . . . well, you should have got the larger picture by now.

So to hear Coleman fronting his own quintet of exuberant merry men on the previously unreleased  The George Coleman Quintet in Baltimore is a flat out joy on any given day, let alone one amidst a year of pestilence, panic, and paranoia. A bristling set recorded live at Baltimore's Famous Ballroom in May 1971, it's pure joy to hear Coleman and company, senior league sidemen all—trumpeter Danny Moore (Quincy Jones, Dizzy Gillespie), pianist Albert Dailey (Sonny Rollins, Art Blakey), bassist Larry Ridley (Horace Silver, Jackie McLean), and drummer Harold White (Gary Bartz, Rahsaan Roland Kirk), giving the audience their money's worth and then some nearly fifty years down the line.

Drop the needle anywhere on this limited-edition, Record Store Day Black Friday vinyl from Zev Feldman and saxophonist Cory Weeds Reel to Real label (the digital equivalent drops in December) and it's a time machine back to a purer time when all you needed was an old stage and five guys blowing to make any city night bright with magic. Coleman cuts and runs loose like a fevered wizard on a hot bed spin through "I Got Rhythm" with Moore and Dailey in mad pursuit. A joyful, unabashed swing is "Body and Soul" thanks to the unswerving though malleable muscle of White and Ridley. Coleman's deep blue tone and heated, real time acrobatics spark and ignite a set of constant bop shenanigans throughout "Afternoon In Paris," "Sandu" and the reckless happiness of "Joy Spring." Put this one on and revel in a time before all this.

Track Listing

Side One: Afternoon In Paris; Sandu. Side Two: I Got Rhythm; Body And Soul; Joy Spring.


George Coleman: saxophone, tenor; Danny Moore: trumpet; Albert Dailey: piano; Larry Ridley: bass; Harold White: drums.

Album information

Title: In Baltimore | Year Released: 2020 | Record Label: Reel To Real

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