Albums

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Bebop - To be released March 8, 2019 | HighNote Records

Hi-Res Booklet
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Bebop - Released June 15, 2017 | HighNote Records

Hi-Res Booklet
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Bebop - Released August 12, 2014 | HighNote Records

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Bebop - Released June 25, 2013 | HighNote Records

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Bebop - Released May 31, 2011 | HighNote Records

Trumpeter Tom Harrell's expansive and funky 2011 effort, The Time of the Sun, is a creatively inspired, somewhat experimental work that finds the journeyman post-bopper delivering some of the best work of his career. Once again featuring the same ensemble he's used since 2007's Light On, the album includes tenor saxophonist Wayne Escoffery, pianist/Fender Rhodes player Danny Grissett, bassist Ugonna Okegwo, and drummer Johnathan Blake. This is a seasoned ensemble of talented, like-minded musicians who've been guided for several years by Harrell's ever-searching trumpet and compositional voice. Beginning with recordings of solar oscillations -- harmonies produced by the magnetic field in the outer atmosphere of the sun -- the album is an engaging, cerebral, yet dancey affair that showcases Harrell's longstanding knack for sinewy improvisational lines and memorable, thoughtful harmonic compositions. While not fusion, the music here does bring to mind the '70s works of trumpeter Eddie Henderson, like Heritage and Sunburst. The title track and the propulsively funky "Ridin'" find Harrell laying down knotty, serpentine lines against Grissett's skronky Rhodes hits and Blake's roiling drum beats. Few jazz musicians in their mid- and late career continue the kind of all-original approach that Harrell has on his handful of Highnote albums, and The Time of the Sun is easily the best example of this. ~ Matt Collar
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Bebop - Released January 26, 2010 | HighNote Records

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Bebop - Released January 27, 2009 | HighNote Records

Sticking with the atmospheric vibe of 2007's Light On, trumpeter Tom Harrell delivers more progressive and laid-back post-bop on 2009's Prana Dance. Once again, Harrell is backed by his working group featuring keyboardist Danny Grissett, saxophonist Wayne Escoffery, bassist Ugonna Okegwo, and drummer Johnathan Blake. This is a stellar ensemble with an organic, almost telepathic sense of group interplay, featuring highly inventive and adept improvisers well suited to Harrell's cerebral compositions. The deftly simple tunes belie Harrell's use of odd time signatures and knotty, creative harmonic passages. Such songs as the buoyant "Marching" and the angular mid-album track "The Call" make the most of keyboardist Grissett's searching and minimalist Fender Rhodes sound. Similarly, the driving modal piece "Sequenza" brings to mind work by both Wayne Shorter and Dave Liebman -- which isn't necessarily surprising as saxophonist Escoffery adds a lithe and angular voice to each song. While he's always been an impeccable improviser and technically adroit hornman, Harrell himself has never sounded better or more assured on the trumpet. There's a warmth and directness to Harrell's music here that seems to flow from the yogic notion of prana or the balance of breath. In that sense, Prana Dance is the perfect balance of breath, movement, and music. ~ Matt Collar
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Bebop - Released January 5, 2007 | HighNote Records