William "Red" Garland was an American hard bop jazz pianist whose block chord style, in part originated by Milt Buckner, influenced many pianists. He began his musical studies on the clarinet and alto saxophone but in 1940 switched to the piano. Garland spent copious amounts of time practicing and rapidly developed into a proficient player. A short early career as a welterweight boxer did not seem to hurt his playing hands. He fought a young Sugar Ray Robinson before making the switch to a full-time musician.