William M. Garland, 13 May 1923, Dallas, Texas, USA, d. 23 April 1984, Dallas, Texas, USA. Garland turned to the piano in his late teens, having earlier studied and played reed instruments. Although initially inspired by mainstream artists, he moved into bebop in the late 40s, accompanying Charlie Parker, Fats Navarro and others while still playing regularly with musicians such as Coleman Hawkins and Ben Webster. In 1955 he joined Miles Davis, remaining a member of the quintet until 1958. For the next 10 years he led his own trio, which recorded extensively, but drifted into obscurity after 1968 when he settled in Texas. Towards the end of the following decade he returned to the national and international jazz scene. As a soloist Garland was often lyrical if not especially commanding; but he made an important contribution to the powerful rhythm section (with Paul Chambers and Philly Joe Jones) of one of Davis best bands, where his sophisticated technique, use of harmonic substitutions and block-chording set standards for many contemporary and later bop bands.
Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.