Number 20 on the list of Top 25 American musicians played at my house over the last six decades is Red Garland, who was famous for a block chord style of piano playing similar to that of George Shearing.
Red played the melody with his right hand. With his left, he played four-note chords that simultaneously beat out the same rhythm as the right-hand melody. Occasionally he’d leave out the root of a chord, a style associated with Bill Evans.
Red became famous upon joining Miles Davis in 1955. With Miles, Red played piano on the great Prestige Records series, including the albums Walkin’, Workin’, Steamin’, Cookin’, and Relaxin’. He was also featured on my own favorite Red and Miles effort, Round About Midnight (1957). With his own group, Red recorded a wide array of albums, including my favorites, It’s a Blue World, Groovy, and All Kinds of Weather. Red Garland died of a heart attack in 1984 at age 60.
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