The Fox (Remastered 2024) Harold Land

Album info



Label: Craft Recordings

Genre: Jazz

Subgenre: Hard Bop

Artist: Harold Land

Album including Album cover

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  • 1The Fox (Remastered 2024)05:32
  • 2Mirror-Mind Rose (Remastered 2024)06:38
  • 3One Second, Please (Remastered 2024)05:49
  • 4Sims A-Plenty (Remastered 2024)06:14
  • 5Little Chris (Remastered 2024)05:07
  • 6One Down (Remastered 2024)07:22
  • Total Runtime36:42

Info for The Fox (Remastered 2024)

On 12 April, the master of the tenor saxophone, Harold Land, will release the album "The Fox", originally released in 1960, which enjoys cult status among insiders. The album features him as bandleader and was recorded with the help of the great pianist Elmo Hope and the brilliant and dazzling trumpeter Dupree Bolton, who left behind only a few recordings himself. Herbie Lewis played bass and Frank Butler drums on this hard bop album, which was produced by David Axelrod. Harold Land's expressive sound and improvisational ingenuity are legendary. The American jazz saxophonist developed a personal and modern style, his tone was strong and emotional, but hinted at a certain introspective fragility. For example, the surprisingly moving, honeyed "Mirror Mind Rose" shows the range of Land's virtuosic playing and is an extraordinary exercise in expression and restraint.

Harold Land began playing the saxophone at the age of 16. In the mid-1950s, he joined the Clifford Brown-Max Roach Quintet, with whom he was at the forefront of the hard bop/bebop movement. But Land soon had to leave the band for personal reasons and his career was cut short when he moved to LA. There he played with Curtis Counce, among others, and was bandleader of his own formation. At the beginning of the 70s, Land went somewhat quiet before working with trumpeter Blue Mitchell from 1975 to 1978. He was a regular member of the Timeless All Stars from the 1980s until the early 1990s. Harold Land was a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles.

"excellent straight-ahead quintet set" and "high-quality hard bop". The Penguin Guide to Jazz rates the album three and a half stars and describes Land as an "underrated composer with a deep feeling for the blues" and states that The Fox, "tricky and fugitive as much of it is, must be thought his finest moment". (Scott Yanow, AMG)

Harold Land, tenor saxophone
Dupree Bolton, trumpet
Elmo Hope, piano
Herbie Lewis, bass
Frank Butler, drums

Digitally remastered by Bernie Grundman

Harold Land
A soft-spoken man whose personality rarely suggests the incandescence of his instrumental sound, Harold Land was born in 1928 in Houston, Texas. The family moved to San diego when he was five; it was during his high school years there he became interested in music and in 1945 was presented with his first saxophone.

His early influences were the big, warm tones of Coleman Hawkins and Lucky Thompson; later Charlie Parker's new concepts helped determine his direction. He was just out of high school when a bass player named Ralph Houston helped him join the Musician's Union.

After working in Houston's band, he spent a long while soaking up experience at the Creole Palace where a small combo, usually five or six pieces, was led by Froebel Brigham, a trumpeter. "During both these jobs my closest friend and musical colleage was the drummer, Leon Petties," Harold remembers. "We played the floor show and jazz sets too. Sometimes men like Hampton Hawes, Teddy Edwards and Sonny Criss came down from Los Angeles and worked with us--this provided a great stimulus."

Later, Land and Petties went on the road for about a year, first with a group led by guitarist Jimmy Liggins, and then in the band of his celebrated brother, Joe "Honeydripper" Liggins. Harold recalls this rhythm-and-blues experience as valuable in rounding out his musical education. After putting in additional time back at the Creole Palace, Harold decided in 1954 to try his luck in Los Angeles. For several months there were various odd jobs, none very rewarding.

The turning point came one night when Clifford Brown took his combo-leading partner, Max Roach to hear Harold play in a session at Eric Dolphy's house. "Eric had known me since the San Diego days, and after I moved to L.A. we became good friends," Harold says. "He was beautiful. Eric loved to play anywhere, any hour of the day or night. So did I. In fact, I still do."

The unofficial audition led to Harold's being hired by Brown and Roach. As jazz night club audiences around the country were exposed to the freshness and vitality of Land's playing, he seemed to be well on his way; but in 1956 he had to leave the quintet and return to Los Angeles because of illness in the family.

If, during the balance of the 1950s, he had continued to tour with name groups, there is little doubt that his reputation would have been established sooner and much more firmly on an international level.

"Harold's been one of the finest tenor players I've heard and I have hardly heard a write-up about what this man has been doing through the years. In New York he would have gotten more." (Buddy Collette) Source: LEONARD FEATHER, from the liner notes, The Fox, 1959, Contemporary.

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