RIP Al Harewood

Back in the heyday of hard bop, when everyone played a similar folkloric ride cymbal beat, it was up to the drummer to make sure his pattern was distinctive.

A quarter note is a quarter note is a quarter-note: Al Harewood’s version was effortless and Caribbean-inflected. His left hand coughed and bumped. Of course the bass drum was feathered just right. There was probably no moment of his professional career as a musician where Al Harewood wasn’t swinging.

Harewood can be heard on the following albums, all of which are lifted up by his beautiful beat. The 60's music is the most famous: the many albums with Horace Parlan and George Tucker show that unit was a canonical rhythm section. Later, through Betty Carter, Harewood linked up with Norman Simmons, another musician with whom he shared similar ideals and taste. Completed by Lisle Atkinson, that unit was canonical too.

Jay Jay Johnson & Kai Winding Jay & Kai Quintet (1954)

Ahmed Abdul-Malik Jazz Sahara (1958)

Ahmed Abdul-Malik East Meets West (1959)

Curtis Fuller Blues-ette (1959)

Benny Golson Gone With Golson (1959)

Lou Donaldson Sunny Side Up (1959)

Horace Parlan Movin' And Groovin' (1960)

Horace Parlan Us Three (1960)

Stanley Turrentine Look Out! (1960)

Horace Parlan Speakin' My Piece (1960)

Lou Donaldson Midnight Sun (1960)

Horace Parlan Headin' South (1960)

Booker Ervin That's It! (1961)

Stanley Turrentine Jubilee Shouts (1961)

Stanley Turrentine Up At Minton's (1961)

Horace Parlan On The Spur Of The Moment (1961)

Dexter Gordon Doin' Allright (1961)

Horace Parlan Up And Down (1961)

Grant Green Remembering (1961)

Ike Quebec Heavy Soul (1961)

Stanley Turrentine A Chip Off The Old Block (1963)

Grant Green Idle Moments (1963)

Bobby Hutcherson The Kicker (1963)

Betty Carter Finally – Betty Carter (1969)

David Amram No More Walls (1971)

George Benson Quartet (1973)

Norman Simmons Ramira The Dancer (1976)

Horace Parlan Frank-ly Speaking (1977)

Lisle Atkinson Bass Contra Bass (1978)

Norman Simmons Midnight Creeper (1979)

Norman Simmons I'm … The Blues (1980)

Buddy Tate/Al Grey Just Jazz (1984)

Dick Katz In High Profile (1984)

Norman Simmons 13Th Moon (1985)

Lee Konitz Ideal Scene (1986)

Benny Carter Cookin' At Carlos I (1988)

Curtis Fuller Blues-ette Part II (1993)

Joshua Breakstone Remembering Grant Green (1993)

Howard Alden Your Story – The Music Of Bill Evans (1994)

Louis Smith There Goes My Heart (1997)