Harold Land – Choma (Burn) (1971)

Harold Land - Choma (Burn) (1971)
Artist: Harold Land
Album: Choma (Burn)
Genre: Jazz-Funk, Post-Bop
Origin: USA
Released: 1971
Quality: mp3, 320 kbps
Tracklist:
Choma (Burn) 9:56
Our Home 5:52
Black Caucus 10:04
Up And Down 10:50

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The listener, upon viewing this album’s lineup of musicians, would be forgiven for assuming the two drummers and two keyboardists are performing on alternating tracks, except for one little intrusive fact: they aren’t. That’s right, the full septet plays on all four compositions, with the two drummers and the two keyboardists simultaneously pounding up a storm. Add on top the busy bass work of Reggie Johnson, the vicious vibes of Bobby Hutcherson, and the spikey tones of the one and only Harold Land, and you have a wall of sound that could occasionally be described as “cluttered”.

Which is NOT to say this is a bad album. Oh no, far from it. But it needs to be said this is not a “starter” album, or even for the very faint of heart. And while I certainly haven’t heard everything Harold ever recorded, a much closer comparison can be made with his performances as part of the big sounds of Gerald Wilson’s larger ensembles in the 1960s.

So for the new listener, please be advised that Choma (Burn) is not a big-band album or an avant-garde album, but rather one of his more over-the-top performances of the 1970s. A much higher recommendation can be made for A New Shade of Blue (sadly STILL not available on CD), recorded and released the same year (1971). Also take into account that on the opening title track, Harold does not play the tenor sax, but one ferocious flute!

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