Wilbur Harden

Wilbur Harden ( born December 31, 1924 in Birmingham, Alabama, † June 1969 ) was an American jazz trumpeter and flugelhorn player.

Life and work

Wilbur Harden played 1950 Rhythm & Blues at Roy Brown and Ivory Joe Hunter, he served in the U.S. Navy. The mid-1950s he played in Detroit in the band of Yusef Lateef and took with him several LPs on the jazz label Savoy Records on. In 1957 he appeared in the hard bop scene in New York, after he had left Lateefs band. In 1958 Harden with John Coltrane in three recording sessions at Rudy Van Gelder groundbreaking pieces of hard bop, so Wells Fargo, Count Down, Tanganyika Strut, Gold Coast and other pieces. The Count Down Session of 11 March, the Gold Coast session of 13 June and the Dial Africa session of 24 June 1958 shall important works by the great tenor saxophonist in a transitional period: they are produced much more carefully than the almost inflationary published Prestige recordings from 1957 to 1958, and thus form an important link to the recorded bit later LPs with Atlantic Records. In these sessions Wilbur Harden plays in a soft and supple style that is strongly reminiscent of Miles Davis, but is also heavily influenced by the blues. At that time Harden was also compared with Kenny Dorham, Art Farmer or Donald Byrd. As a sideman, Harden can also be heard on the Prestige recordings of 11 July 1958 were later released on the LP Standard Coltrane, Bahia and Stardust.

Harden played 1958 LP under his own direction with a Tommy Flanagan; In 1960 he contributed to the LP Imagines of Curtis Fuller. Then it forced a disease to end his active career as a musician. Wilbur Harden has been one of the "great lost musicians" of modern jazz.


As a leader

  • The King And I ( Savoy Records, 1958)

With John Coltrane

  • Gold Coast ( Savoy, 1958)
  • Tanganyika Strut ( Savoy, 1958)
  • Stardust ( Prestige, 1958)
  • Mainstream 1958 ( Savoy, 1958)
  • Dial Africa ( Savoy, 1958)
  • Standard Coltrane ( Prestige, 1958)
  • Bahia ( Prestige, 1958)

With Yusef Lateef

  • Jazz And The Sounds Of Nature ( Savoy )
  • Gong!
  • Prayer To The East ( Savoy )
  • The Sounds Of Yusef ( Prestige )
  • Other Sounds ( New Jazz )