Biography All Music Guide
All Music Guide:
One of the finest pianists of the bop era (and one who learned from Bud Powell's innovations quite early), Al Haig was quite busy during two periods of his career but unfortunately was pretty obscure in the years between. After serving in the Coast Guard (playing in bands during 1942-1944) and freelancing around Boston, Haig worked steadily with Dizzy Gillespie (1945-1946), Charlie Parker (1948-1950), and Stan Getz (1949-1951); and was on many recordings, mostly as a sideman (including some classic Diz and Bird sessions) but also as a leader for Spotlite, Dawn, and Prestige. However (other than little-known dates in 1954 for Esoteric, Swing, and Period), Haig did not lead any more albums until 1974. He played fairly often during the 1951-1973 period, but was generally overlooked. That changed during his last decade, when he was finally recognized as a bop giant and recorded for Spotlite, Choice, SeaBreeze, Interplay, and several Japanese and European labels.