Wilbur Harden is a mystery man in jazz history, for he appeared on some important recording sessions (most notably with John Coltrane) and then, after 1960, pretty well disappeared. He played R&B with Roy Brown (1950) and Ivory Joe Hunter, and then served in the Navy. Harden emerged in 1957, recording with Yusef Lateef, and led four record dates for Savoy in 1958; three were with Coltrane (who became the leader on reissues), and one in a quartet with Tommy Flanagan.
In 1960, Wilbur Harden (who was one of the first trumpeters to regularly double on flügelhorn) recorded one title with Curtis Fuller, but then ill health forced him to retire at the age of 35 and died on June 10, 1969.
—Scott Yanow (All Music Guide)