Harold Land

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Harold Land
Born (1928-12-18)December 18, 1928
Houston, Texas, United States
Died July 27, 2001(2001-07-27) (aged 73)
Genres Hard bop
Bebop
Occupations Saxophonist
Instruments Tenor saxophone

Harold de Vance Land (December 18, 1928 – July 27, 2001)[1] was an American hard bop and post-bop tenor saxophonist. Land developed his hard bop playing with the Max Roach/Clifford Brown band into a personal, modern style. His tone was strong and emotional, yet displayed a certain fragility that made him easy to recognize.[2]

Biography[edit]

Land was born in Houston and grew up in San Diego. He started playing at the age of 16. He made his first recording as the leader of the Harold Land All-Stars, for Savoy Records in 1949. In 1954 he joined the Clifford Brown/Max Roach Quintet. Because of family problems he moved to Los Angeles in 1955. There he played with Curtis Counce, led his own groups, and co-led groups with Bobby Hutcherson, Blue Mitchell, and Red Mitchell. From the 1970s onwards his style showed the influence of John Coltrane.

In the early 1980s through to the early 1990s he worked regularly with the Timeless All Stars, a group sponsored by the Timeless jazz record label. The group consisted of Land on tenor, Cedar Walton on piano, Buster Williams on bass, Billy Higgins on drums, Curtis Fuller on trombone and Bobby Hutcherson on vibes. Land also toured with his own band during this time, often including his son on piano and usually featuring Bobby Hutcherson and Billy Higgins as well. During these years he played regularly at Hop Singhs in Marina Del Rey in the L.A area and the Keystone Korner in San Francisco.

Land was a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles. He joined the UCLA Jazz Studies Program as a lecturer in 1996 to teach instrumental jazz combo. "Harold Land was one of the major contributors in the history of the jazz saxophone," said jazz guitarist Kenny Burrell, founder and director of the UCLA Jazz Studies Program. "He was a vital and well-loved member of the jazz faculty here at UCLA."[this quote needs a citation]

Land died in July 2001, from a stroke, at the age of 73.[1]

The progressive rock band Yes included a song "Harold Land" on their eponymous debut album in 1969. In a news/blog post on 20 September 2010, Bill Bruford commented about the song - "Harold Land was a hard-bop tenor saxophone player, dead now, but quite why we named a song after him I can’t remember."[3]

Discography[edit]

As leader[edit]

  • 1958: Grooveyard (Contemporary)
  • 1958: Harold in the Land of Jazz (Contemporary/OJC)
  • 1959: The Fox (HiFi Jazz/OJC) with Elmo Hope, DuPree Bolton, Herbie Lewis, Frank Butler
  • 1960: West Coast Blues! (Jazzland)
  • 1960: Eastward Ho! Harold Land in New York (Jazzland)
  • 1961: Hear Ye! Harold Land Quintet with Red Mitchell (Atlantic)
  • 1967: The Peace-Maker (Cadet)
  • 1969: Take Aim (Blue Note)
  • 1971: Jazz Impressions of Folk Music (Imperial)
  • 1971: A New Shade of Blue (Mainstream)
  • 1971: Choma (To Burn) (Mainstream)
  • 1977: Damisi (Mainstream)
  • 1977: Mapenzi with Blue Mitchell (Concord Jazz)
  • 1981: Xocia’s Dance (Muse)
  • 1995: A Lazy Afternoon (Postcards Records)
  • 2001: Promised Land (Audiophoric)

As sideman[edit]

With Clifford Brown and Max Roach

With Curtis Counce

  • You Get More Bounce With Curtis Counce originally released as Counceltation[4] (Contemporary, 1956)
  • Landslide (Contemporary, 1956)
  • Sonority (Contemporary, 1958)
  • Exploring the Future (Dooto, 1958)
  • Carl's Blues (Contemporary, 1960 - recorded 1957)

With Ella Fitzgerald

With Bill Evans

With Chico Hamilton

With Hampton Hawes

With Elmo Hope

With Bobby Hutcherson

With Blue Mitchell

With Donald Byrd

With Hampton Hawes

  • For Real! (Contemporary, 1958)

With Timeless All Stars (Cedar Walton, Curtis Fuller, Bobby Hutcherson, Buster Williams, Billy Higgins)

  • It's Timeless (Timeless, 1982)
  • Timeless Heart (Timeless, 1983)
  • Essence: The Timeless All Stars (Delos, 1986)
  • Time For the Timeless All Stars (Early Bird Records, 1991)

References[edit]

External links[edit]