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Harold McNairHarold McNair & Flute and Nut

Harold McNair
Harold McNair & Flute and Nut

This Vocalion reissue presents two of Harold's greatest solo albums, which are rendered all the more precious owing to the relatively few occasions on which he recorded as a leader. Harold's self-titled 1968 album features his quartet comprising regular cohorts Bill Le Sage (piano), Spike Heatley (bass) and Tony Carr (drums), whilst 1970's Flute & Nut features exhilarating big band and orchestral arrangements by arranger-composer John Cameron. John and Harold had worked together regularly since the mid-'60s, a partnership that saw Harold appearing on albums by artists for whom John was the musical director. As a result, Harold's brilliant and distinctive flute and sax playing became a feature of recordings by Donovan and CCS, the latter being the jazz-meets-rock-meets-blues powerhouse big band John founded together with producer Mickie Most. But this reissue showcases Harold in a jazz context and contains some of the most compelling solos he recorded. The headlong swing of Harold's composition Indecision features him in full flight, his electrifying solo incorporating the throat' flute technique popularised by Rahsaan Roland Kirk and Sahib Shihab, whilst in contrast is the haunting, almost pastoral rendition of pop-folk singer Donovan's Lord of the Reedy River. Here, the lyrical, introspective side of Harold is on display, and the sense of forlornness he imparts through his improvisation is deeply affecting.
The Flute & Nut album contained a mix of standards and original compositions. Of the former, a gorgeous orchestration of the Rodgers & Hart evergreen My Romance provided the backdrop for Harold's sinuous, lyrical alto sax, whilst the furious swing of the John Cameron original Burnt Amber is arguably one of the best numbers in Harold's entire discography. These are just some of the highlights from two albums that clearly demonstrate Harold McNair's standing as one of the all-time greats in the jazz pantheon. Remastered from the original stereo master tapes.

Harold McNair Quartet
Harold McNair
The original LP SF 7969 (1968) STEREO

Mento (McNair)
Indecision (McNair)
Lord of the Reedy River (Leitch)
The Hipster (McNair)
Mini Blues (McNair)
Secret Love (Fain; Webster)
Darn that Dream (Van Heusen; De Lange)
On a Clear Day You Can See Forever (Lane; Lerner)
The Cottage (McNair)

Harold McNair (flute/tenor sax)
Bill Le Sage (piano)
Spike Heatley (bass)
Tony Carr (drums)

Flute and Nut
The original LP INTS 1096 (1970) STEREO

The Umbrella Man (Cavanaugh; Stock; Rose)
The Night Has a Thousand Eyes (Brainin; Bernier)
You are too Beautiful (Rodgers; Hart)
Barnes Bridge (McNair)
Nomadic Joe (McNair; Myers)
Herb Green (McNair)
My Romance (Rodgers; Hart)
Burnt Amber (Cameron)

Flute & Nut - Harold McNair

CDSML 8494
Product ID CDSML8494
Price: £0.00
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