Afro-Cuban Kenny Dorham

Album info

Album-Release:
1955

HRA-Release:
06.12.2017

Label: Blue Note Records

Genre: Jazz

Subgenre: Hard Bop

Album including Album cover

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  • 1Afrodisia05:05
  • 2Lotus Flower04:17
  • 3Minors Holiday04:26
  • 4Basheer's Dream05:02
  • 5K.D.'s Motion05:27
  • 6La Villa05:23
  • 7Venita's Dance05:20
  • Total Runtime35:00

Info for Afro-Cuban

„Considered Kenny Dorham's finest recording of his all-too-short career, this re-reissue has been newly remastered and presumably now includes all of the takes from these nonet and sextet sessions of 1955. Considering the time period, this date remains way ahead of the Latin-tinged and hard bop music that would follow. It would be difficult to assess the sextet being a step below the larger group effort, but only because it is much less Afro-Cuban. Nonetheless the unmistakable drumming of Art Blakey powers the combo through the blisteringly swinging 'La Villa' with unison horns (Hank Mobley, tenor sax; Cecil Payne, baritone sax). The other easy swinging pieces 'K.D.'s Motion,' 'Venita's Dance,' and 'Echo of Spring/K.D.'s Car Ride' display great group empathy and seem effortless, though they're not.

It's the Latin-based music that really differentiates this band from all others of this era, save Dizzy Gillespie's. Payne's robust bari ignites the hip call-and-response motif of 'Afrodisia,' while his horn in tandem with pianist Horace Silver backs the up-front horns, supplemented by trombonist J.J. Johnson, for the heated mambo-ish hard bopper 'Basheer's Dream.' Two takes of 'Minor's Holiday' are, curiously enough, exactly the same time at 4:24, both super cooking with Dorham's clear-as-a-bell trumpet leading the other horns, which practically act as backup singers. Percussionist Carlos 'Patato' Valdes is the perfect spice added to this dish. The lone ballad, 'Lotus Flower,' is remarkable in that its marked tender restraint feels on the brink of wanting to cut loose, but never does. A first-rate recording for the under-appreciated Dorham, this one should be in every collection of all true music lovers.“ (Michael G. Nastos)

Kenny Dorham, trumpet
Hank Mobley, tenor saxophone
Cecil Payne, baritone saxophone
Jay Jay Johnson, trombone
Horace Silver, piano
Oscar Pettiford, bass
Percy Heath, bass
Art Blakey, drums
Carlos 'Potato' Valdes, congas
Richie Goldberg, cowbells

Recorded at the Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, New Jersey on January 30 and March 29, 1955
Produced by Alfred Lion

Digitally remastered


Kenny Dorham
Throughout his career, Kenny Dorham was almost famous for being underrated since he was consistently overshadowed by Dizzy Gillespie, Fats Navarro, Miles Davis, Clifford Brown, and Lee Morgan. Dorham was never an influential force himself but a talented bop-oriented trumpeter and an excellent composer who played in some very significant bands. In 1945, he was in the orchestras of Dizzy Gillespie and Billy Eckstine, he recorded with the Be Bop Boys in 1946, and spent short periods with Lionel Hampton and Mercer Ellington. During 1948-1949, Dorham was the trumpeter in the Charlie Parker Quintet. After some freelancing in New York in 1954, he became a member of the first version of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers and for a short time led a group called the Jazz Prophets, which recorded on Blue Note. After Clifford Brown's death, Dorham became his replacement in the Max Roach Quintet (1956-1958) and then he led several groups of his own. He recorded several fine dates for Riverside (including a vocal album in 1958), New Jazz, and Time, but it is his Blue Note sessions of 1961-1964 that are among his finest. Dorham was an early booster of Joe Henderson (who played with his group in 1963-1964). After the mid-'60s, Kenny Dorham (who wrote some interesting reviews for Down Beat) began to fade and he died in 1972 of kidney disease. Among his many originals is one that became a standard, "Blue Bossa." (Scott Yanow). Source: Blue Note Records.

This album contains no booklet.

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