Garland, Red [William McKinley]
- Bill Dobbins
- , revised by Brad Linde
(b Dallas, TX, May 13, 1923; d Dallas, April 23, 1984). American jazz pianist. He began musical studies on clarinet and alto saxophone in high school and changed to piano at the age of 18. His earliest influences were Count Basie and Nat “King” Cole; the music of Bud Powell and Art Tatum also made a strong impression on him when he first heard them in New York during the late 1940s. Between 1946 and 1955 he worked in the Boston, New York, and Philadelphia areas with noted jazz musicians such as Billy Eckstine, Charlie Parker, Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young, Ben Webster, Fats Navarro, and Roy Eldridge. It was as a member of Miles Davis’s quintet (1955–8), however, that Garland achieved international recognition, particularly as part of the outstanding rhythm section with Paul Chambers (double bass) and Philly Joe Jones (drums). During this period he was heavily influenced by the pianist Ahmad Jamal’s style of playing blocked chords, a technique popularized by George Shearing in which both hands strike the keys at the same time, creating a full and rich sound. After leaving Davis’s quintet Garland led his own trio for several years, featuring players such as Pepper Adams, Nat Adderley, Kenny Burrell, Harold Land, John Coltrane, and Donald Byrd. When his mother died in ...