Praised by Newsweek for his pure melodic genius, Tom Harrell is widely recognized as one of the most creative and uncompromising jazz instrumentalists and composers of our time. Even with a discography of over 260 recordings and a career that spans more than four decades, Harrell has managed to stay fresh and current as he continues to actively record and tour around the world. He is a frequent winner in Down Beat and Jazz Times magazines' Critics and Readers Polls and a Grammy nominee. Harrell is also a Trumpeter of the Year nominee for the 2012 Jazz Journalists Association Awards. His warm, burnished sound on the trumpet and the flugelhorn, and the unparalleled harmonic and rhythmic sophistication in his playing and writing, have earned Harrell his place as a jazz icon to aspiring musicians and devoted fans alike.
Following the success of his first four albums with the current members of his quintet - a remarkably cohesive unit that includes tenor saxophonist Wayne Escoffery, pianist Danny Grissett, drummer Johnathan Blake, and his bassist of 13 years, Ugonna Okegwo, Harrell’s latest quintet offering, NUMBER FIVE, was released in May 2012.
The quintet's previous albums, THE TIME OF THE SUN (2011), ROMAN NIGHTS (2010), PRANA DANCE (2009) and LIGHT ON (2007), received wide critical acclaim and won SESAC awards four years in a row for topping the radio charts in the U.S.
In contrast to his signature recordings during the RCA/BMG years (1996 - 2003) where much of his focus was on projects involving large ensembles, the latest albums on Highnote demonstrate Harrell's skills as a leader of a smaller unit that calls to mind the energy and rapport of Art Blakey’s and Horace Silver’s bands