A first-rate trumpet soloist, generally considered by many musicians to be the top hard bop trumpeter of the 1980s and '90s, Tom Harrell has performed in a distinguished fashion for several bandleaders. His style mixes together the power of Clifford Brown with the lyricism of Chet Baker. Harrell grew up in Northern California and toured with Stan Kenton (1969), Woody Herman (1970-1971), and Horace Silver (1973-1977). He moved to New York in the mid-'70s, and played during this period with Cecil Payne, Bill Evans (1979), the Lee Konitz Nonet (1979-1981), and George Russell (1982).
Harrell traveled the world with the Phil Woods Quintet (1983-1989) and went on to generally lead his own bands, recording for Contemporary and Chesky before landing at RCA for 1996's Labyrinth; subsequent outings included 1997's The Art of Rhythm, 1999's Time's Mirror, 2001's Paradise, and 2003's Wise Children. In 2007, Harrell moved to High Note and released Light On. Harrell continued in a similar vein with his atmospheric 2009 release Prana Dance and 2010's Roman Nights. In 2011, he released the similarly expansive The Time of the Sun. ~ Ron Wynn & Scott Yanow