Bill Hardman

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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. He was married to Roseline and they had a daughter Nadege.[1]


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,[citation needed] 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[edit]

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,[citation needed] although he never managed a commercial breakthrough like many of his colleagues such as Donald Byrd, Freddie Hubbard and Lee Morgan.


As leader[edit]

With Brass Company

As sideman[edit]

With Dave Bailey

With Art Blakey

With Walter Bishop Jr

With Junior Cook

With Lou Donaldson

With Charles Earland

With Curtis Fuller

With Charles Earland

With Benny Golson

With Eddie Jefferson

  • Come Along with Me (Prestige, 1969)

With Ronnie Mathews

With Jackie McLean

With Jimmy McGriff

With Charles Mingus

With Hank Mobley

With Houston Person

With Mickey Tucker

With Steve Turre

  • Viewpoints and Vibrations (Stash, 1987)

With Mal Waldron

With Reuben Wilson