Hank Garland was one of the first guitar players I ever listened to – along with Chet, Wes & Jimmy Bryant. “The Unforgettable Guitar Of Hank Garland” was for me, a very early introduction into jazz. Then I bought “Jazz Winds From A New Direction”. There may be a third album but I think that’s the extent of his solo output. Sadly, a car accident ended Hank’s career in his prime. I never knew Hank was primarily a country picker until years later – and an “A” team guy at that.
To this day those aforementioned albums still hold up. Just amazing playing. They offer up no clue that Hank’s main gig was as an ace country picker. I don’t know of any guitarist who could own either genre so completely.
I’m not really familiar with all that Hank did as a session player. However one session I heard years ago that must have been his was The Everly’s “Don’t Blame Me”. The guitar playing on that record is not only very jazz-like, but it is some of the most exquisitely tasteful, from-the-heart playing you’ll ever hear. Later, I had the chance to ask Harold Bradley (another unsung guitar hero) if that was Hank on that track and he confirmed it.