Hardman, Bill [William Franklin, Jr.] (Cleveland, 6 April 1933 - Paris, 5 Dec 1990)


Trumpeter and flugelhorn player


He studied trombone and trumpet as a youth. Armstrong and Roy Eldridge were early influences, and at the age of 16 he heard Charlie Parker. While still in high school he played with Tadd Dameron, and after graduating he toured with Tiny Bradshaw (1953-5). He played with Jackie McLean (1955), Charles Mingus (1956, 1969-70), Art Blakey (1956-8, 1966-9, and in the 1970s), briefly with Horace Silver (1958), intermittently with Lou Donaldson (1959-66), and with Lloyd Price's big band (1963). From 1972, with Bill Lee and Billy Higgins, he led the Brass Company, a large ensemble including four or five trumpets, two flugelhorns, and a rhythm section, which sought to re-create the thick textures characteristic of the sound produced by Miles Davis's groups during the period of his collaboration with Gil Evans. In 1973 Hardman won the Down Beat Critics' Poll. In the late 1970s he led a group with Junior Cook. Hardman's trumpet playing was influenced chiefly by Benny Bailey, but also by Joe Gordon, Kenny Dorham, Fats Navarro, and Clifford Brown; his style is aggressive, straightforward bop.


                                                                        André Barbera


The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, © Macmillan Reference Ltd 1988