I forget Bill Coleman occasionally, in a way I never do fellow swing trumpeters Frank Newton or Henry 'Red' Allen. I don't know why, because I love his long, leaping phrases and witty vibrato. I'm not the only one, however, and I suspect Coleman felt neglected. His reminiscences about his time in the Luis Russell Orchestra reflect a certain bitterness regarding its New Orleans clique. Coleman's stay in Paris must have gone some way to alleviating his sensitivity - there he was a celebrated international star, not simply another trumpeter.
Garnet Clark's experience there is a sadder tale. An enormously promising pianist whose life ended in a mental institution, Clark played with creativity and swing. I've mused before on this blog regarding the number of musicians who experience mental instability - he's certainly in good company!
Here are two classy performances by Garnet Clark and his Hot Club Four, featuring Bill Coleman on trumpet and vocals, George Johnson on reeds, June Cole on bass and the iconic Django Reinhardt on guitar: