|Live at The Cellar, Vancouver, Canada, November 1958.
Although he was always a secondary figure when compared to other contemporary tenor saxophonists like Sonny Rollins –who replaced him in the famous Clifford Brown-Max Roach quintet at the end of 1955– Harold Land was nevertheless an excellent player. This opinion is backed by the important groups and musicians that counted on his services.
He formed part of outstanding small groups in Los Angeles and made perennial recordings with bassists Red Mitchell and Curtis Counce. Land taped the first Long Play album issued under his own name in 1958, Harold in the Land of Jazz, followed a year later by The Fox. He also began playing with the Gerald Wilson orchestra, and with pianists Hampton Hawes and Carl Perkins. In 1960, he recorded in San Francisco with Thelonious Monk and gained fame in the late sixties for his band with vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson. Influenced by John Coltrane, Land’s sound and style began to change during this period, becoming harder and freer than his early bebop and post bebop recordings.
Issued on the current CD for the first time ever, the live recordings contained here present Harold Land in a splendid but unusual setting. The rhythm section of pianist Elmo Hope, bassist Scott LaFaro and drummer Lennie McBrowne wasn’t part of his usual group. In fact, the three musicians formed the rhythm section for Sonny Rollins’ quartet!