This was a co-led group that existed briefly on the West Coast at the start of the sixties. It was very similar in sound to the Curtis Counce group, with which Harold had been involved some two or three years earlier. In addition to the two leaders the disc has Carmell Jones on trumpet, Frank Strazzeri on piano and Leon Petties on drums. All play well, and the two leaders measure up to their standing as among the very best on their individual instruments. Carmell Jones was strongly influenced by Clifford Brown, but has a softer sound. He plays attractive lines but on most of his recordings played with what one can only describe as a weak grace. Here he is more forceful, no doubt being kicked along by a very good rhythm section, and having to try to keep up with Harold Land. Land plays superbly, with sinuous authority, and a tone uniquely his own, hard on top but full of body underneath. His tone and his lines imbue everything he plays with the blues. He was one of the greats of the tenor and I would be hard pressed to think of any disc of his not worth five stars. Strazzeri is described on the sleeve as the West Coast equivalent of Wynton Kelly. Well, he wasn't, but he was a fine swinging pianist, pretty much at his best on this disc. On 'Triplin' Awhile' his piano sounds slightly out of tune. He fits in to the group very well and helps knit it together into a very effective unit. Red Mitchell is superb. He was once described by Hampton Hawes as being the heartbeat of his music, and that is what he is here. He solos on every track, but not to great length, and has always been one of the more interesting bass soloists. The little known Petties plays well, and contributes fully to a swinging rhythm section. All six tunes are originals contributed by members of the group. None are particularly strong melodically, but all provide suitable vehicles for blowing. All are various medium pacers except 'Pari Passu' which is faster. All musicians play well on all tracks and there are no low points anywhere. The unisons, and the few arranged passages, are all played impeccably. Incidentally, there are six tunes only, and the two standards referred to in one of the American reviews, are not there. A disc that gives me a lot of pleasure.
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