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date: 13 November 2019

Goode, Coleridge (George Emmerson)free

  • Simon Adams

(b St Andrew, Jamaica, Nov 29, 1914; d London, Oct 2, 2015). Jamaican double bass player. His father was a conductor and choirmaster and his mother was a singer – as was Goode himself initially. Having taken up violin at the age of 12 he went to Scotland in 1934 and played violin while at university in Glasgow. He then began his professional career as a double bass player at the Panama Club in London with the trumpeter Johnny Claes and his Claypigeons (1942). He performed with Bertie King (1943), Jiver Hutchinson (1944), and Lauderic Caton (1945), and with Caton and Dick Katz he was a founding member of the Caribbean Trio, which existed from 1945 to 1947. During the same period he performed and recorded with George Shearing and Stephane Grappelli (1945–6) and recorded with Grappelli and Django Reinhardt (1946). Goode played with Ray Ellington’s quartet from late 1947 to early 1951 and recorded with Ray Nance in 1948. He was with the accordionist Tito Burns (1951–3), toured with his own group, and worked with Harry Hayes (1955). Later he played with Joe Harriott’s quintet (1958–62) and his group Indo-Jazz Fusions (1965–8); his work with the former ensemble may be heard to advantage on the album Abstract (1961–2, Col. 33SX1627). Having recorded intermittently with Michael Garrick from 1963 to 1966 Goode worked as a regular member of Garrick’s sextet from 1968 to 1971. In 1974 he joined the trio led by the pianist Iggy Quail, and continued to work with this group and with the drummer Laurie Morgan. In 1989 he played alongside Shake Keane, with Martin Hathaway on alto saxophone, in the Joe Harriott Memorial Quintet. Goode was one of the pioneers of double-bass amplification, first using it in a broadcast in 1946; following in the manner of Slam Stewart, he usually played arco solos, singing in octave unison with his bass.

Oral history material in GBLnsa.


  • “Personal Points: Coleridge Goode,” Melody Maker (27 Sept 1947), 4
  • “Personal Appearance, no.2: the Joe Harriott Quintet,” Jazz News (2 Sept 1960), 16
  • V. Wilmer: “Musicians of the Caribbean, no.5: the Master of the Bass,” Flamingo, 3/8 (1964), 36
  • J. Massarik: “Coleridge Goode,” The Wire, no.4 (1983), 17
  • J. Green: “Black Musicians in London,” Black Perspective in Music, 14/2 (1986), 203
  • I. Cruickshank: “Coleridge Goode: the Veteran Jamaican Bass Player Recounts his Adventures with Joe Harriott, Django Reinhardt, George Shearing, and Others,” JJI, 40/8 (1987), 10
J. Chilton: Who's Who of British Jazz (London and New York, 1997)
Jazz Journal International
L. Feather: The Encyclopedia of Jazz in the Sixties (New York, 1966/R1986)
I. Carr, D. Fairweather, and B. Priestley: Jazz: the Rough Guide (London, 1995, rev. and enlarged 2/2000)