West Coast Blues: HAROLD LAND Sextet
Joe Gordon (tp) Harold Land (ts) Wes Montgomery (g) Barry Harris (p Sam Jones (b) Lous Hayes (drs)
Recorded in San Francisco; May 17 & 18, 1960
Ursula (7:10) (Harold Land)
Klactoveedsedstene (9:55) (Charlie Parker)
Don’t Explain (4:50) (Billie Holiday)
West Coast Blues (6:01) (Wes Montgomery)
Terrain (7:44) (Harold Land)
Compulsion (6:17) (Harold Land)
About This NEW Jazzland Recording –
This could be billed as one of those “East meets West” affairs, since tenorman HAROLD LAND, trumpeter JOE GORDON and guitarist WES MONTGOMERY are all Californians these days, while their brilliant and thoroughly ‘soulful’ rhythm section is East Coast-based. But such an emphasis would be less than fair to the album. For, while so may geographically-mixed “meetings” run into trouble by attempting to mix basically incompatible approaches to jazz, this effort combines six men who decidedly belong with each other musically and celebrates their having a rare opportunity to wail together.
Harold Land is clearly one of today’s most formidable and fluent tenors. Born in Houston, Texas in December of 1928, but raised in California (San Diego and Los Angeles), he nevertheless developed a notable “hard” sound that led Max Roach and Clifford Brown to add him t their group on first hearing him in ’54. But he soon gave up the road life to resettle with his family in L. A. There his efforts have tended to be somewhat submerged in the flood of softer sounds more generally accepted on the West Coast, a state of affairs that a really cooking LP such as this one might just possibly help to remedy. Land’s equally strong composing talents are also on display here in the surging Terrain and Compulsion, and the richly melodic line entitled Ursula that leads off the album. (The title tune is a Wes Montgomery original; Klactoveedsedstene is a hard-charging and rarely performed Charlie Parker number; and finally there is Land’s particularly rich and moody treatment of Billie Holiday’s Don’t Explain.)
Montgomery hails from Indianapolis, but has recently relocated in San Francisco. A phenomenal, self-taught guitarist whose incredible solo choruses played in octaves are among the accomplishments that have brought him wild critical acclaim (Ralph Gleason has called him “the best thing to happen to the guitar since Charlie Christian”!), he had worked with Land during a most successful stay at San Francisco’s Jazz Workshop late in 1959. Joe Gordon, who combines modern conception with a big tone reminiscent of Roy Eldridge, was born in Boston. He was featured with Dizzy Gillespie’s big band, but has also been a Los Angeles citizen for the past several years, working with Shelly Manne – and jamming with such as Land when he feels a need for hard-blowing freedom.
The wonderfully well-knit combination of BARRY HARRIS, LOUIS HAYES (both from Detroit) and SAM JONES (of Florida) should be instantly recognizable as also being Cannonball Adderley’s rhythm section. The presence of that remarkable band out West, for a Jazz Workshop booking, made possible this particular recording mixture, with the hard-driving Western “team” blending with what is certainly one of the finest rhythm units in any part of the country – and with the impeccable Mr. Jones and the lyrical Mr. Harris also contributing some superb solo efforts.
Recent JAZZLAND releases include:
Takin’ Care of Business – Charlie Rouse Quintet, with Blue Mitchell, Art Taylor – JLP 19 & Stereo 919S
The Fourth Herd – Woody Herman Orchestra, with Nat Adderley, Zoot Sims – JLP 17 & Stereo 917S
Organ-izing – Mel Rhyne, organ; with Blue Mitchell, Johnny Griffin, Gene Harris – JLP 16 & Stereo 916S
This album produced and notes by ORRIN KEEPNEWS
Cover designed by KEN DEARDOFF
Cover and back-liner photos by JERRY STOLL
Recording Engineer: WALLY HEIDER
JAZZLAND RECORDS are produced by BILL GARUER PRODUCTIONS, Inc.
235 West 46th Street, New York 36, New York