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An Interview with Tom Harrell | Sound Tracks Quick Hits | PBS

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Published on Jan 9, 2012

Filmed for the Sound Tracks: Quick Hits series by the Talbot Players in association with PBS Arts (http://www.facebook.com/soundtrackstv).

You may not recognize Tom Harrell's face, but if you grew up in America, you've almost certainly heard his music. He arranged Vince Guaraldi's music for the "Peanuts" Thanksgiving Special, and you can hear his trumpet underneath the antics of Snoopy and Woodstock. But that slice of priceless Americana represents just one of the many incarnations of Tom Harrell.

As a teenager, Tom was already jamming with professional groups in the San Francisco Bay area. He played with the Stan Kenton and Woody Herman big bands, and became a pioneer of jazz fusion in the 70s, working with groups like the Latin-Jazz-Rock band Azteca.

You can use any superlative you like to describe Tom's playing; he's one of those rare figures who has actually extended the vocabulary of the jazz trumpet. Over his career, Tom has also established himself as one of jazz's most important composers.

At the age of 66, Tom is more prolific than ever, and his touring schedule would exhaust most people half his age. SOUND TRACKS finally got him to sit down in the wee hours of the morning, after his midnight set at the Village Vanguard.

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