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Tom Harrell
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Tom Harrell Solos

Tom Harrell Courtesy Howard Gitelson
Photo Courtesy Howard Gitelson
Tom Harrell (born June 16th, 1946, Urbana, Illinois) has steadily built a reputation over the past twenty years as a top-notch composer as well as one of the more talented and musical players of his instrument. His achievements are perhaps more significant in light of his struggle with schizophrenia, a disorder he was diagnosed with in his twenties.

His family moved to the San Francisco Bay Area when he was five. Tom first picked up the trumpet when he was eight and began jamming locally with professional bands at 13. After playing with the Jazz Workshop in the late 60s, Harrell toured with the Stan Kenton and Woody Herman bands.

Tom Harrell Courtesy Jackie Lepage
Photo Courtesy Jackie Lepage
After several years with Horace Silver during the 70s Harrell moved to New York, where he performed with the Mel Lewis Village Vanguard big band, Chuck Israels' National Jazz Ensemble, Azteca, Arnie Lawrence's Treasure Island, and rock/funk band Cold Blood. He also played with Cecil Payne, Bill Evans and Lee Konitz, and during the 80s Phil Woods expanded his quartet to a quintet with the addition of Harrell. An incisive and precise bop trumpeter with a clear, even tone, and one of music's most gifted improvisers, Harrell is much in demand for studio work. He has also recorded several sessions as a leader, with a major label recording contract exposing his compositional skills to a wider audience. His late 90s octet is a compelling mix of talent and experience, featuring trombonist Wayne Andre, tenor saxophonists Don Braden and Greg Tardy, baritone Gary Smulyan, pianist Xavier Davis, bassist Ugonna Okegwo and drummer Billy Hart. Harrell’s 1999 release, Time’s Mirror, won a Grammy nomination and his 1998 Latin CD, The Art of Rhythm, was named the Best Jazz Album of the Year (2000) by Entertainment Weekly. During the 2000 season, he has presented his big band at the Monterey Jazz Festival, toured major European festivals with his octet, and performed at university concert series, festivals and jazz clubs with his quintet.

Aurora/Total (Adamo 1976)
Play Of Light (Blackhawk 1984)
Moon Alley (Criss Cross 1985)
Open Air (Contemporary 1987)
Stories (Contemporary 1988)
Sail Away (Contemporary 1989)
Form (Contemporary 1990)
Visions (Contemporary 1991)
Passages (Chesky 1992)
Upswing (Chesky 1993)
Bottom Line (Mons 1995)
Labyrinth (RCA Victor 1996)
Look to the Sky (Steeplechase 1996)
The Art Of Rhythm (RCA Victor 1997)
Trumpet Legacy w/ Lew Soloff, Nicholas Payton, Eddie Henderson (Milestone 1999)
Time's Mirror (RCA Victor 1999)
Paradise (Bluebird 2001)

For a complete Discography, visit the The All Music Guide
Jazz Posters
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