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The Fox

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Album Review

Due to his decision to settle in Los Angeles, tenor saxophonist Harold Land has long been underrated. A strong bop stylist who later on would be influenced a great deal by John Coltrane, Land in 1959 had a sound closer to Sonny Rollins. For this excellent straight-ahead quintet set with trumpeter Dupree Bolton and pianist Elmo Hope, Land performs four of Hope's superior but little-known compositions along with two of his own. This is high-quality hard bop, easily recommended to fans of straight-ahead jazz.

Customer Reviews

1959 - good west coast jazz

I've always liked Elmo Hope on piano and Harold Land was a quality sax man. I still think the west coasters got less press than the NYC or Philly cats and that's a shame.

If you like straight-ahead jazz with no BS, this is a good one...maybe not 5 stars but 4 to 4.5.

CoolFreeHardBop - educating the squares since 1896!

Incomparable Land, almost equal to Clifford

Harold Land is among the most underrated, overlooked, musicians even by other musicians because the superiority of Clifford to virtually everything before and after him caused listeners to overlook the one player capable of shadowing and doubling him note-for-note before offering his own visionary solos. Carmel Jones and Victor Feldman both proclaimed Harold the greatest living improviser. The single Brown-Roach album with Rollins (“At Basin Street”) is a reminder of how greatly Land was missed.


Born: December 18, 1928 in Houston, TX

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '60s, '70s

Harold Land is an underrated tenor saxophonist whose tone has hardened with time and whose improvising style after the 1960s became influenced by (but not a copy of) John Coltrane. He grew up in San Diego and started playing tenor when he was 16. After working locally and making his recording debut for Savoy (1949), Land had his first high-profile gig in 1954 when he joined the Clifford Brown/Max Roach Quintet. Land performed and recorded with the group until late 1955 when due to family problems...
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The Fox, Harold Land
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