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Bill Hardman

Bill Hardman American musician

American musician
Bill Hardman
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro American musician
Was Jazz musician
From United States of America
Gender male
Birth 6 April 1933, Cleveland
Death 5 December 1990, Paris (aged 57 years)
Star sign AriesAries
The details


William Franklin Hardman, Jr. (April 6, 1933 in Cleveland, Ohio – December 5, 1990 in Paris, France) was an American jazz trumpeter and flugelhornist who chiefly played hard bop.


Hardman grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, and worked with local players including Bobby Few and Bob Cunningham; while in high school he appeared with Tadd Dameron, and after graduation he joined Tiny Bradshaw's band. Hardman's first recording was with Jackie McLean in 1956; he later played with Charles Mingus, Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, Horace Silver, and Lou Donaldson, and led a group with Junior Cook. Hardman also recorded as a leader: Saying Something on the Savoy label received critical acclaim in jazz circles, but was little known to the general public. He had three periods in as many decades with Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers; Hardman's misfortune was not to be with the Messengers at the time of their popular Blue Note recordings. Blakey occasionally featured him playing several extended choruses unaccompanied.

Playing style and legacy

A crackling hard bop player with blazing technique, crisp articulations, and a no-frills sound, Hardman later incorporated into his sound the fuller, more extroverted romantic passion of a Clifford Brown - a direction he would take increasingly throughout the late-1960s and 1970s. He figures by and large among the top ranks of hardbop titans of the time, although he never managed a commercial breakthrough like many of his colleagues such as Donald Byrd, Freddie Hubbard and Lee Morgan.


As leader

  • 1961 - Saying Something (Savoy Records)
  • 1975 - Colors (Strata-East Records, with Brass Company)
  • 1978 - Home (Muse Records)
  • 1989 - Focus (Muse)
  • 1981 - Politely (Muse)
  • 1989 - What's Up (Steeplechase) with Robin Eubanks, Junior Cook, Mickey Tucker

As sideman

With Dave Bailey

  • 2 Feet in the Gutter (Epic, 1961)

With Art Blakey

  • Hard Bop (Columbia, 1956)
  • Originally (Columbia, 1956 [1982])
  • Drum Suite (Columbia, 1957)
  • Selections from Lerner and Loewe's... (Vik, 1957)
  • Tough! (Cadet, 1957 [1966])
  • A Night in Tunisia (Vik, 1957)
  • Cu-Bop (Jubilee, 1957)
  • Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers With Thelonious Monk (Atlantic, 1957)
  • Hard Drive (Bethlehem, 1957)
  • Art Blakey Big Band (Bethlehem, 1957)
  • Jazz Messengers '70 (Catalyst, 1970)
  • Backgammon (Roulette, 1976)

With Lou Donaldson

  • Sunny Side Up (Blue Note, 1960)
  • Possum Head (Argo, 1964)
  • Musty Rusty (Cadet, 1965)
  • Fried Buzzard (Cadet, 1965)

With Curtis Fuller

  • Crankin' (Mainstream, 1971)
  • Smokin' (Mainstream, 1972)

With Benny Golson

  • Pop + Jazz = Swing (Audio Fidelity, 1961) - also released as Just Jazz!

With Eddie Jefferson

  • Come Along with Me (OJC, 1969)

With Jackie McLean

  • Jackie's Pal (Prestige, 1956)
  • McLean's Scene (New Jazz, 1956)
  • Jackie McLean & Co. (Prestige, 1957)

With Charles Mingus

  • A Modern Jazz Symposium of Music and Poetry (Bethlehem, 1957)

With Hank Mobley

  • Hank Mobley (Blue Note, 1957)

With Houston Person

  • Wild Flower (Muse, 1977)

With Mickey Tucker

  • Sojourn (Xanadu, 1977)

With Steve Turre

  • Viewpoints and Vibrations (Stash, 1987)

With Mal Waldron

  • Mal 2 (Prestige, 1957) - with John Coltrane

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