Though his associations include stints with the much-celebrated Clifford Brown and Max Roach ensembles of the ’50s, L.A.-based tenor saxophonist Harold Land hasn’t always possessed the emotional and melodic consistency that characterizes A Lazy Afternoon. The mostly ballad collection appropriately features the string arrangements of Ray Ellis, best known for his work on Billie Holiday’s Lady in Satin date. Like Land, Ellis has honed his artistry in recent years, and he infuses tracks like “Stella by Starlight” with passages that are sentimental without being maudlin. Ellis inspires Land to a lithe lyricism that is particularly compelling on the aforementioned track, and on another title from Satin, Edward C. Redding’s “The End of a Love Affair.”

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