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Jazz - Released December 31, 1995 | RCA Victor

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Best known as a superior and advanced cool-toned trumpeter, Tom Harrell shows throughout this consistently brilliant set that he has also developed into an excellent composer and a particularly talented arranger. All ten songs and arrangements are his, and the music both swings and is quite original. Harrell doubles on flügelhorn and utilizes a wide variety of interesting musicians, including clarinetist Greg Tardy (who plays beautifully on the opening "Petals Danse"), acoustic guitarist Romero Lumbambo (heard on the more Brazilian-oriented numbers), the great free bop tenor Dewey Redman, pianist Danilo Perez, electric guitarist Mike Stern, tenorman David Sanchez, and several strings (including Regina Carter) among others. Each selection stands out, and although none of the original melodies are probably destined to become standards, the episodic arrangements are quite colorful. As for the leader, he gets in strong solos of his own, although Harrell tends to keep them concise and purposeful. Overall, this is Tom Harrell's most significant release as a leader to date and arguably one of the finest jazz records released in 1998. ~ Scott Yanow
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Jazz - Released March 8, 2019 | HighNote Records

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Jazz - Released January 1, 1991 | Concord Records, Inc.

This was trumpeter Tom Harrell's first recording since ending his long period with Phil Woods' quintet. He performs five originals plus the standard "For Heaven's Sake." Most intriguing are "January Spring" (a lengthy workout that is freely improvised except for the theme) and the cooking "Rhythm Form" which, although loosely based on "I Got Rhythm," sounds as if it could have been written by Ornette Coleman. Throughout the date the contributions of Joe Lovano (on tenor and soprano), pianist Danilo Perez, the fine flutist Cheryl Pyle (on "January Spring") and the mighty Charlie Haden-Paul Motian rhythm team keep the trumpeter quite inspired. ~ Scott Yanow
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Bebop - Released June 15, 2017 | HighNote Records

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Bebop - Released September 15, 2015 | HighNote Records

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Bebop - Released August 12, 2014 | HighNote Records

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Jazz - Released April 27, 2002 | RCA Victor

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Bebop - Released September 9, 2016 | HighNote Records

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Bebop - Released September 18, 2012 | HighNote Records

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Jazz - Released September 6, 2003 | RCA Bluebird

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Jazz - Released January 1, 1988 | Concord Records, Inc.

One of the joys of hearing Tom Harrell (who sticks here to flugelhorn) on his own sessions is that his writing tends to be showcased. All seven of the diverse and advanced originals on this release are Harrell's, and he enlisted other top-notch players to interpret them. Tenor saxophonist Bob Berg and pianist Niels Lan Doky have many fine solos, bassist Ray Drummond and drummer Billy Hart are stimulating in support, and guitarist John Scofield helps out on three numbers. This CD (which has one additional selection than the original LP) is an excellent example of Harrell's talents. ~ Scott Yanow
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Jazz - Released May 8, 2001 | RCA Bluebird

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Jazz - Released April 5, 1999 | RCA Victor

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Jazz - Released February 17, 1996 | RCA Victor

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Bebop - Released January 5, 2007 | HighNote Records

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Jazz - Released June 16, 2009 | Parco Della Musica 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 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 June 25, 2013 | HighNote Records

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Bebop - Released January 26, 2010 | HighNote Records