Harold Land: The Fox


The Fox


Harold Land (tenor sax)


The Fox (Contemporary OJCD-343-2)

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Harold Land (tenor sax), Dupree Bolton (trumpet), Elmo Hope (piano), Herbie Lewis (bass), Frank Butler (drums).

Composed by Elmo Hope


Recorded: Los Angeles, August 1959


Rating: 98/100 (learn more)

This may be the hottest hard-bop track ever recorded on the West Coast. Butler drives a blistering tempo at close to 400 beats per minute. At this pace, Elmo Hope’s chart is almost impossible to play. Yet the band clings together for dear life and charges ahead fearlessly. Land, who helped define the hard bop sound while with the Brown-Roach Quintet, offers up one of his most driving recorded solos. But then comes Dupree on trumpet sounding like the Angel Gabriel announcing Judgment Day. On the Scoville intensity chart for jazz solos, this one ranks somewhere north of the habañero. Can you play hotter than this? Not without melting the grooves on your LP.

Reviewer: Ted Gioia

Related Links

In Search of Dupree Bolton by Ted Gioia

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  • 1 Doug Murray // May 06, 2009 at 04:11 AM
    Dupree Bolton's story is similar to trumpeter Maurice Taylor of Hartford Ct who was also an unusually gifted fireball that came from the Fats Navarro tradition. Spike Lee could do an outstanding movie about Dupree's life. You did a tremendous job in bringing this story to jazz people. Thank you!!! Doug Murray / Jazzscope