Über Tom Harrell
It can't be easy to be tagged a musician's musician. While fans buy albums and concert tickets, artists expect everything for free. Horn player Tom Harrell has been a musician's favorite for years; he combines a lyrical Cool style with a deep understanding of Hard and Post Bop structures. Like Art Farmer, he fits into a diverse range of ensembles: from the impressionistic Bill Evans to the funky Horace Silver, from the bombastic Stan Kenton Orchestra to the hard-swinging Woody Herman Herd. Besides his stellar sideman gigs, Harrell's own recordings keep getting better. Recent RCA releases show off his compositional and arranging skills as well as his trumpet and flugelhorn chops. Though Harrell's tone is close to Chet Baker's, he adds offbeat artists like the frenzied Dewey Redman to his ensembles and can help the divergent sounds make sense together. Though Harrell has received some press about his positive life as a diagnosed schizophrenic, his consistently rewarding work deserves a wider audience.