Home » Jazz Articles » Album Review » Harold Land: Promised Land

175

Harold Land: Promised Land

By

Sign in to view read count
Harold Land: Promised Land
Time allows, eventually, the opportunity for self-actualization—one hopes. After a long, under-appreciated career and sparse discography, tenor saxophonist, Harold Land, affirms his stature on this album as an individual stylist. Land’s sound has matured into something distinctly his own—a combination of the swing style of his early career and a full command of Coltrane-inspired “sheets of sound”.

This session provides a rich, satisfying experience. The songs on the diverse play list—Land originals, standards, and a Monk tune—have well-articulated themes; solid arrangements; and leave ample time for Land to display is angular, swinging style.

On the first half of the set, Land and Miller dominate—the presence of the featured Higgins is subdued. Tenor and piano provide firm solos on “Inner Voice”. Interspersed among his upper-register, vertical lines, Land throws in the occasional honk. Miller opens his solo fluidly laying down bright notes; towards the end he employs block chords. At the close of the solos, Land and Miller do trade bars with Higgins, but the drummer’s effort feels perfunctory and strained. The choice of playing “What’s New” as a duet exemplifies the dynamic between the two: bass and drums aren’t even in the picture. Land starts off sweetly—within the framework of the melody—then spirals into regions that keep things fresh. Miller backs him the whole way with heavy comping.

The recently deceased Higgins built a varied career playing in environments ranging from hard bop to free jazz. His ability to bring his own rhythmic sensibility to complement any style or setting manifests itself on the last half of this session. On “Dark Mood” and “Mapenzi”, Higgins establishes a firm groove and applies shifting time patterns to the basic rhythm. Moreover, he doesn’t ease off when Land and Miller solo: he hammers fills and rolls that accentuate their improvisation.

Notwithstanding the solid group dynamic between tenor and rhythm section, it is the leader’s voice that prevails throughout this set. Straight-ahead fans will find fulfillment in this album from an often-overlooked jazz veteran.

Personnel

Harold Land
saxophone, tenor

Album information

Title: Promised Land | Year Released: 2001 | Record Label: Audiophonic

Comments

Tags


For the Love of Jazz
Get the Jazz Near You newsletter All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.

You Can Help
To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.

More

Eagle's Point
Chris Potter
Can You Hear It?
Mikko Innanen / Cedric Piromalli / Stefan Pasborg
Elegy for Thelonious
Frank Carlberg Large Ensemble

Popular

Jazz Hands
Bob James
Esengo
London Afrobeat Collective
Light Streams
John Donegan - The Irish Sextet

Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and upcoming jazz events near you.