Remembering Coleridge Goode

Coleridge Goode

Jamaican born British jazz bassist Coleridge Goode, part of Joe Harriott's pioneering Indo-Jazz Fusion band died October 2nd aged 100.

Bassist Coleridge Goode, a real kingpin of the British jazz scene, passed away on October 2 aged 100, just a month short of his 101st birthday. Named after African-English composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Goode was born in Jamaica in 1914 and came to Britain in 1934 to study engineering in Scotland. He was a classically trained violinist and cellist as his father ran an orchestra in Jamaica. He switched to upright bass when he moved to London in 1942 to study for a music degree and was comfortable playing any style of music. 

For many years Goode collaborated with fellow Jamaican, alto saxophonist and Indo-jazz fusion pioneer Joe Harriott during the late 1950s and 1960s. His bass playing can be heard on cherished Harriott albums ‘Southern Horizons,’ ‘Free Form,’ ‘Abstract,’ ‘Movement’ and ‘High Spirits’. He is credited as one of the creators of British avant garde ‘free jazz’. 

Goode’s influence reached deep into European jazz as well as inspiring many of today’s contemporary Black British jazz musicians and was a strong direct link to the rich heritage of Caribbean music. He also played with violinist Stephane Grapelli, Franco-Belgian guitar legend Django Reinhardt, English jazz pianist and composer Michael Garrick and even appeared on The Goon Show. Goode was also a sportsman, playing tennis to a high standard and it is said he could have been a professional.

In 2011 Goode received a Parliamentary Jazz Award for Services to Jazz and at his centenary was honoured with a special event at the 2014 EFG London Jazz Festival led by Gary Crosby.

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