Michael Coleman’s piano players
I’ve now listened to 82 of Coleman’s 90 recorded sides and offer the following comments on his piano accompanists:
In fact most of his accompaniments were good, maybe just not to today’s tastes. Even the bad pianists played in time and changed key when he did (not always the same key though!) which would suggest that they did rehearse first before committing to disc, and weren’t so indifferent to the recordings as has been suggested. Considering these were mostly ‘first takes’, there are very few mistakes on the part of Coleman or his accompanists.
My favourite is Ed Geoghegan, who really whips up a storm on the 1927 recordings. I think he may be the good ‘unknown’ pianist on the 1924 New Republic recordings as well.
Also very good: Ed Lee, John Muller and Eileen O’Shea.
The worst pianist (ever) was Kathleen Brennan - sounding as if she was playing in a different session in the same studio!
Most of the ‘unknowns’ were quite good, apart from the Okeh 1922 recordings and the Columbia records made in September 1925.
Unfortunately some of Coleman’s most celebrated tracks are the ones with indiferent/bad accompaniment.
Does anybody have any info about these pianists, and were these the accompanists for his radio sessions?
Also, are there any of the radio recordings on release?
Any info gratefully received on this, and I look forward to hearing your comments about the above. And no, I don’t have anything better to do at the moment!