The blues of William McKinley Garland's native Dallas were a key component of the late pianist's repertoire. Red, as he was known professionally, kept returning to those roots throughout his rocky career. Work with Buster Smith (Charlie Parker's early idol), Hot Lips Page, Billy Eckstine, and Charlie Parker himself preceded the former prizefighter's celebrated 1955-59 stint with Miles Davis, an association that focused international attention on his signature keyboard approach. In his notes to this collection of 11 blues by Red, James Isaacs writes: "Garland brought elegance and urbanity to the idiom, without losing touch with its primacy."
with Ray Barretto, Donald Byrd, Paul Chambers, Arnett Cobb, John Coltrane, Coleman Hawkins, J.C. Heard, Philly Joe Jones, Sam Jones, George Joyner, Wendell Marshall, Peck Morrison, Oliver Nelson, Charlie Persip, Jimmy Rowser, Arthur Taylor, George Tucker, Doug Watkins, Richard Williams, Charles "Specs" Wright