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Harlan Leonard

Harlan Leonard (July 2, 1905 – November 10, 1983) was an American jazz bandleader and clarinetist from Kansas City, Missouri.

Leonard was born in Kansas City in 1905. A professional musician from the age of 17, he joined Benny Moten's orchestra in 1923, where he led the reed section until 1931. In 1931 he and Thamon Hayes formed the Kansas City Skyrockets, which included trumpeters Ed Lewis and James Ross, trombonist Vic Dickenson, and pianist Jesse Stone. After disputes with the Chicago local of the American Federation of Musicians the band broke up.

In 1939 Leonard formed Harlan Leonard and his Rockets, which featured a young Myra Taylor. This band quickly became a leading band in Kansas City and toured nationally. Charlie Parker played in this band for five weeks, but he was fired by Leonard for lack of discipline. The band featured arrangements by its piano player Tadd Dameron that bore suggestions of the transition between swing and bebop. The band broke up during the Second World War, and Leonard left professional music. He worked in banking and for the Internal Revenue Service and died in Los Angeles in 1983.

Birth and Death Data: Born July 2nd, 1905 (Kansas City), Died 1983 (Kansas City)

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1926 - 1931

Roles Represented in DAHR: clarinet, alto saxophone, soprano saxophone, leader, songwriter, composer, saxophone

Recordings (Results 1-25 of 67 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor BVE-37232 10-in. 12/13/1926 Thick lip stomp Bennie Moten's Kansas City Orchestra Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, clarinet, alto saxophone  
Victor BVE-37233 10-in. 12/13/1926 Harmony blues Kansas City Orchestra ; Bennie Moten Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, clarinet, alto saxophone  
Victor BVE-37235 10-in. 12/13/1926 Yazoo blues Kansas City Orchestra ; Bennie Moten Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, clarinet, alto saxophone  
Victor BVE-37236 10-in. 12/13/1926 White lightnin' blues Kansas City Orchestra ; Bennie Moten Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, clarinet, alto saxophone  
Victor BVE-37237 10-in. 12/14/1926 Muscle Shoals blues Kansas City Orchestra ; Bennie Moten Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, clarinet, alto saxophone  
Victor BVE-37238 10-in. 12/14/1926 Midnight mama Kansas City Orchestra ; Bennie Moten Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, clarinet, alto saxophone  
Victor BVE-37239 10-in. 12/14/1926 Missouri wobble Kansas City Orchestra ; Bennie Moten Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, clarinet, alto saxophone  
Victor BVE-38667 10-in. 6/11/1927 Sugar Kansas City Orchestra ; Bennie Moten Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, clarinet, alto saxophone  
Victor BVE-38668 10-in. 6/11/1927 Dear heart Kansas City Orchestra ; Bennie Moten Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, clarinet, alto saxophone  
Victor BVE-38669 10-in. 6/11/1927 The new Tulsa blues Kansas City Orchestra ; Bennie Moten Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, clarinet, alto saxophone  
Victor BVE-38670 10-in. 6/11/1927 Baby dear Kansas City Orchestra ; Bennie Moten Jazz/dance band, with male vocal duet instrumentalist, clarinet, alto saxophone  
Victor BVE-38671 10-in. 6/11/1927 12th Street rag Kansas City Orchestra ; Bennie Moten Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, clarinet, alto saxophone  
Victor BVE-38672 10-in. 6/12/1927 Pass out lightly Kansas City Orchestra ; Bennie Moten Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, clarinet, alto saxophone  
Victor BVE-38673 10-in. 6/12/1927 Ding-dong blues Kansas City Orchestra ; Bennie Moten Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, clarinet, alto saxophone  
Victor BVE-38674 10-in. 6/12/1927 Moten stomp Kansas City Orchestra ; Bennie Moten Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, clarinet, alto saxophone  
Victor BVE-42924 10-in. 9/6/1928 Justrite Kansas City Orchestra ; Bennie Moten Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, clarinet, alto saxophone  
Victor BVE-42925 10-in. 9/6/1928 It's hard to laugh or smile Kansas City Orchestra ; Bennie Moten Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, clarinet, alto saxophone  
Victor BVE-42926 10-in. 9/6/1928 Slow motion Kansas City Orchestra ; Bennie Moten Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, clarinet, alto saxophone  
Victor BVE-42927 10-in. 9/6/1928 Tough breaks Kansas City Orchestra ; Bennie Moten Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, clarinet, alto saxophone, composer  
Victor BVE-42928 10-in. 9/7/1928 Sad man blues Kansas City Orchestra ; Bennie Moten Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo instrumentalist, clarinet, alto saxophone  
Victor BVE-42929 10-in. 9/7/1928 Kansas City breakdown Kansas City Orchestra ; Bennie Moten Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, clarinet, alto saxophone  
Victor BVE-42930 10-in. 9/7/1928 Trouble in mind Kansas City Orchestra ; Bennie Moten Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, clarinet, alto saxophone  
Victor BVE-42931 10-in. 9/7/1928 Hot water blues Kansas City Orchestra ; Bennie Moten Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, clarinet, alto saxophone  
Victor BVE-42932 10-in. 9/7/1928 When life seems so blue Kansas City Orchestra ; Bennie Moten Jazz/dance band instrumentalist, clarinet, alto saxophone  
Victor BVE-42933 10-in. 9/7/1928 Get low-down blues Kansas City Orchestra ; Bennie Moten Jazz/dance band, with vocal effects instrumentalist, clarinet, alto saxophone  
(Results 1-25 of 67 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Leonard, Harlan," accessed November 29, 2020, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/109661.

Leonard, Harlan. (2020). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved November 29, 2020, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/109661.

"Leonard, Harlan." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2020. Web. 29 November 2020.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/109661

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