Recorded in New York City; July 5 and 8, 1960.
Digital remastering, 1990
(Fantasy Studios, Berkeley)
Tenor saxophonist Harold Land and trumpeter Kenny Dorham make for a potent front line on this CD reissue, a superior hard bop set. With an obscure and quietly boppish rhythm section (pianist Amos Trice, bassist Clarence Jones, and drummer Joe Peters) giving suitable backup, Land and Dorham stretch out on five selections, most notably Cole Porter's "So in Love," "On a Little Street in Singapore," and Land's "O.K. Blues," which was dedicated to producer Orrin Keepnews. A fine effort that serves as a strong example of Harold Land's early work.
All Music Guide
========= from the cover ==========
In this album, the combination of one of the "hardest" (and best) West Coast tenormen and an outstanding New York-based trumpet star produces an abundance of unpretentious, free-swinging jazz, spotlighting the spirited, highly individual solo work of Harold Land and Kenny Dorham.
The LP came into being as a sort of reunion between these two long-time friends who, although they have much in common, have only rarely had opportunities to play together. Land, Texas-born (in December, 1928) but raised in San Diego and now a resident of Los Angeles, has rarely left the West Coast - except for his 1954-55 stay with the Max Roach-Clifford Brown group. Dorham, also a Texan by birth and four years older than Harold, has been an important fixture on the Eastern jazz scene since the mid-'40s. While Land was with the Roach quintet, Kenny would often sit in, and a strong mutual admiration developed; but Harold had left the group to rejoin his family in L.A. (his replacement was Sonny Rollins) before Dorham entered the band following the death of Clifford Brown.
Except for their joint appearance as sidemen on an album by altoist Herb Geller a few years back, Land and Dorham had never recorded together until the Summer of 1960. At that time Harold arrived in New York as part of a Shorty Rogers quintet that also included the rhythm section with which Land had for some time been working in Los Angeles. The fact that Rogers, one of the deans of the now-declining West Coast "cool jazz" movement, had asked Harold to join him and had ended up using Land's quartet in its entirety, is certainly a sign of changing times and increasing good fortune for Land, who for several years in California had found his hard-bop style out of fashion and quite overshadowed by the cool.
Jazzland utilized Harold's presence in New York to set up a record date, as a follow-up to his first LP for the label (which had been cut in the West and features guitarist Wes Montgomery and trumpeter Joe Gordon). Land, while availing himself of the unity of his accustomed rhythm trio, suggested that he could also work to advantage with Dorham. The strong mutual rapport between them and the way each seems to take fire from the other underlines the wisdom of that choice.
Two of the selections here are originals: Triple Trouble, an unusual waltz from the pen of pianist Amos Trice; and Okay Blues, dedicated by Land to a & r man Orrin Keepnews (whose initials are "O.K."). The others are Harold's treatments of relatively unfamiliar standards. Street in Singapore dates back to the 1930's; So in Love is a Cole Porter show tune; and the ballad, Slowly, is the work of David Raksin (almost exclusively known as the composer of Laura).
- Chris Albertson