Red Garland

Red Garland
Pianist Red Garland @ jazz club Keystone Korner, SF, CA May 1978 © 2014 Brian McMillen

Basic Infomartion

Birth name William McKinley Garland, Jr.
Born May 13, 1923
Dallas, Texas
Died April 23, 1984
Dallas, Texas

Biography

Year Note
1923 William "Red" Garland was born in Dallas, Texas on May 13.
He began to study the clarinet and alto saxophone with saxophonist Buster “Prof” Smith, who who was a strong influence on Charlie Parker, because his father wanted him to even though he wanted to play trumpet.
1941 He joined the United States Army and began to learn the piano with his coworkers Lee Barnes, John Lewis, who was not the famous John Lewis of the Modern Jazz Quartet.
He motivated himself to practice entire days and made rapid progress.
He had a short early career as a welterweight boxer which impressed Miles Davis who was a fan of boxing, and he did not seem to hurt his playing hands.
1944 He played locally around Texas after being discharged from the military. And he kept learning on his own from recordings and with an exercise book by Theodore Presser.
1945 He had his first gig on piano with Fort Worth tenor player Bill Blocker. He got his first major job with trumpeter Hot Lips Page.
1946 He joined trumpeter Oran "Hot Lips" Page's band and toured for (when Page offered him to join Page's band, but he refused at first because he thought he wasn't ready). At the end of the tour in New York, he decided to stay in New York. He began to learning from Bud Powell in New York.
He performed with Billy Eckstine(throught Art Blakey's recommendation), Dizzy Gillespie, Dexter Gordon, Gene Ammons and Stonny Stitt after moving to New York.
1947 He began working as the house pianist at the Down Beat(Blue Note?) club in Philadelphia, where he played with Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Fats Navarro, Bill Harris, Flip Phillips, Charlie Ventura, Bennie Green, drummer Charlie Rice(in the house band) etc.
1948 He joined Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis' recording, they recoreded Ravin' At The Heaven.
1949 Coleman Hawkins and Roy Eldridge hired him for their band. This band made him famous and popular.
Lester Young and Ben Webster hired him.
late 1940s He toured with Eddie Vinson's band and there was John Coltrane.
He got his first call from Miles Davis. Davis didn't succeed that time, so he stayed with his trio and with Lester Young.
1955 He joined Miles Davis' record The Musings of Miles, while he was still with Young.
In Octobar, he joined the Miles Davis Quintet featuring John Coltrane, Philly Joe Jones and Paul Chambers (he suggested John Coltrane).
1958 He was fired by Miles, but later returned to play on Milestones (but he was mad and left the studio during the recording session).
He formed his own trio. Among the musicians the trio recorded with are Pepper Adams, Nat Adderley (Cannonball Adderley's brother), Ray Barretto, Kenny Burrell, Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis, Jimmy Heath, Harold Land, Philly Joe Jones, Blue Mitchell, Ira Sullivan, and Leroy Vinnegar, John Coltrane and Donald Byrd.
1968 He semi-retired because of the declining demand for jazz.
He returned to Dallas to care for his mother.
1976 (1978?) He returned from semi-retirement by the famous producer Orin Keepnews and Todd Barkan.
His later work tended to sound more modern and less polished than his early work.
1979 He recorded with bassist Ron Carter and guitarist Kenny Burrell, and maintained an active performance schedule over the next few years.
1984 He died in Dallas, Texas at the age of 60 on April 23(24?) because of a heart attack

Discography

Title RecordingYear Rabel Note
A Garland of Red 1956 Prestige His debut album
Red Garland's Piano 1956 Prestige
Groovy 1956 Prestige
The P.C. Blues 1957 Prestige Recorded in 1957 at the sessions that produced Red Garland's Piano and Groovy (with one track from Miles Davis' 1956 album Workin' with The Miles Davis Quintet added)
Red Garland Revisited! 1957 Prestige Recorded in 1957 at the sessions that produced Red Garland's Piano and Groovy (with one track from Miles Davis' 1956 album Workin' with The Miles Davis Quintet added)
Soul Junction 1957 Prestige Recorded the same day the pieces for All Mornin' Long were recorded.
All Mornin' Long 1957 Prestige Recorded the same day the pieces for Soul Junction were recorded.
Dig It! 1957 Prestige
High Pressure 1957 Prestige
It's a Blue World 1958 Prestige
Manteca 1958 Prestige
Can't See for Lookin' 1958 Prestige
Rediscovered Masters 1958 Prestige
Rojo 1958 Prestige
The Red Garland Trio 1958 Moodsville Also referred to as Moodsville Volume 6
All Kinds of Weather 1958 Prestige
Red in Bluesville 1959 Prestige
Satin Doll 1959 Prestige
Red Garland at the Prelude 1959 Prestige Recorded at the Prelude Club at the same concert that produced "Lil' Darlin'" and "Red Garland Live!".
Lil' Darlin' 1959 Status Recorded at the Prelude Club at the same concert that produced "Red Garland at the Prelude" and "Red Garland Live!".
Red Garland Trio at the Prelude 1959 Prestige
Red Garland Live! 1959 New Jazz Recorded at the Prelude Club at the same concert that produced "Lil' Darlin'" and "Red Garland at the Prelude".
The Red Garland Trio + Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis 1959 Moodsville "Featuring saxophonist Eddie ""Lockjaw"" Davis Also referred to as Moodsville Volume 1"
Alone with the Blues 1960 Moodsville "Solo album. Originally as part of the Moodsville series"
Red Alone 1960 Moodsville "Solo album. Originally as part of the Moodsville series"
Halleloo-Y'-All 1960 Prestige
Soul Burnin' 1960 Prestige The CD reissue features a bonus track "A Little Bit of Basie" recorded in 1959, originally appeared on Satin Doll (1970).
Bright and Breezy 1961 Jazzland
The Nearness of You 1961 Jazzland Subtitled "Ballads played by Red Garland"
Solar 1962 Jazzland
Red's Good Groove 1962 Jazzland
When There Are Grey Skies 1962 Prestige
The Quota 1971 MPS
Auf Wiedersehen 1971 MPS
Groovin' Live 1974 Alfa Jazz
Groovin' Live II 1974 Alfa Jazz
Keystones! 1977 Xanadu
Groovin' Red 1977 Keystone
Red Alert 1977 Galaxy One of the largest recording groups he ever led.
Crossings 1977 Galaxy
Feelin' Red 1978 Muse
I Left My Heart... 1978 Muse
Equinox 1978 Galaxy
Stepping Out 1979 Galaxy
So Long Blues 1979 Galaxy
Strike Up the Band 1979 Galaxy
Wee Small Hours 1980 FullHouse
Misty Red 1982 Baystate
The Last Recording: My Funny Valentine 1983 Meldac Jazz
The Last Recording 2: Autumn Leaves 1983 Meldac Jazz

Note

  • His main influences were Count Basie(his first favorite), Nat Cole, Art Tatum and Bud Powell as he confessed.
    He also learned from James P. Johnson, Luckey Roberts, Teddy Wilson, Bud Powell and Art Tatum(his the most favorite).
    Influences from Erroll Garner and Ahmad Jamal also can be heard from his records.
  • Garland helped popularize the block chord style of piano playing.

    Playing style

    His method of block-chording has influenced many other pianists.

    from by Jazz critic Harvey Pekar on Down Beat: June 6, 1963 Vol. 30, No. 13
    • The block chord technique is different from the ways of earlier block chord pioneers such as George Shearing.
    • The block chords were constructed of three notes in the right hand and four in the left hand.
    • The left hand played four-note chords (rarely three-note) and did not change voicings until the next chord change occurred, which was different from Geroge Shearing’s way. He occasionally did not play the roots of the chords, which is later associated with Bill Evans.
    • The right hand play melody by combining octave and a fifth (mainly perfect fifth) above the bottom melody not.
    • Both hands play the same exact rhythm.
  • His nickname “Red” was derived from the color he dyed his hair (at one point in time).