While the late Red Garland is best-known and fondly remembered as the pianist for the Miles Davis Quintet in the mid-1950s, he also had a career of his own. Garland's style was a gregarious balance of the sophistication of bebop and the earthiness of the blues. SOUL JUNCTION, recorded in 1950, is Garland leading a group featuring Davis bandmate John Coltrane and soon-to-be-rising-trumpet-star (in the late '50s/early '60s) Donald Byrd. It's a thoroughly enjoyable hard bop jaunt through a Garland original and four familiar standards, with Coltrane laying down his near-torrential "sheets of sound" and Byrd playing Mr. Cool to 'Trane's soul and fire. Art Taylor keeps things swinging crisply and Garland, as usual, is masterful (but never in a show-off manner).
Red Garland Quintet: John Coltrane (tenor saxophone); Donald Byrd (trumpet); Red Garland (piano); George Joyner (bass guitar); Arthur Taylor (drum).
01 Soul Junction
02 Woody'n You
03 Birk's Words
04 I've Got It Bad (And That Ain't Good)