19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on June 24, 2000
There was only one Kenny Dorham! Overshadowed in his day by the likes of Dizzy Gillespie, Clifford Brown, Miles Davis, Lee Morgan and Freddie Hubbard, Dorham's recorded legacy demonstrates with great clarity his singular contribution to the jazz trumpet tradition- a contribution that many of today's young and not so young trumpet players are trying to come to grips with. The vocal sound quality, harmonic slyness, and puckish phrasing are the cornerstones of his distinctive style. Simply stated, Kenny Dorham was, at least to this listener, the most soulful trumpet player who ever lived.
On this particular album, Dorham benefits from the all-star support of Hank Jones, Oscar Pettiford, Sonny Rollins, and Max Roach as well as some undistracting harp backing on several of the tracks. The program highlights many of Dorham's special talents including his heartfelt way with a ballad (hear My Old Flame). Highly Recommended!
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Keepnews is rightly proud of this session under the leadership of the man who has been called the poet of the trumpet as well the musician whose name is "synonymous with underrated." It shows Kenny's gifts as a balladeer, composer, and pyrotechnician--the kind of player who can take apart a song's chord structure and reconstruct it with surgical precision, even while operating at blinding speed.
If you should have doubts about whether Kenny was really all that good, start with the last track, his own "La Villa." Here the minimalist or playful Dorham is less in evidence and the trumpet-master emerges, practically supporting Keepnews' contention in the new liner notes that after Clifford there was none better on the instrument than Dorham. Roach supplies the break-speed tempo and Kenny lets the notes fly, yet not allowing a single one to get away from his thought process. It may be his most technically accomplished solo on record. It also brings Rollins, who starts slowly on the opening tune, up to speed.
Still, the Dorham-Rollins pairing is more satisfying overall on Roach's "Jazz in 3/4 Time." The inclusion of "I Remember April" on the present date practically invites listeners new to Dorham to compare him immediately with Clifford Brown who, shortly before his death, had submitted a memorable performance of the same song with the same cast ("At Basin Street" on Mercury). Such comparisons are rarely productive. Clifford was a passionate Romantic, his tone not merely brilliant but flashing with daring, emotion and near-operatic splendor. Kenny's temperament is more Schubert than Verdi, more at home in chamber music and lieder than grand opera. His is an equally moving voice, but one that requires an adjustment on the listener's part to be able to absorb all of its subtle intricacies.
As for the remastering, some listeners will no doubt prefer the more prominent sound of the rhythm section on Kenny's Blue Note recordings with Hank Mobley ("Whistle Stop") or Joe Henderson ("Una Mas," "Concierto Trompeta"). Personally, if I had to stick with just one recording with Dorham on it, make it "Art Blakey at the Cafe Bohemia." But perish the thought at having fewer than 10-12 Dorham sessions in your collection.
(Note to the anonymous paparazzi who's been trailing my every review, awaiting another chance to rubber-stamp his monotonously acrid verdict: I'm not worth your time. Go after someone who cares what you think--if anything. But vary your targets. Amazon is pretty good at detecting ad hominem patterns and denying voting privileges.)
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on September 15, 2007
Kenny Dorham brought together Sonny Rollins, Max Roach, Hank Jones, Oscar Pettiford for a jam session. Harpist Betty Glamann plays on three songs in the middle of the CD. Sometimes jam sessions can be tough to get through, but Kenny Dorham plays very melodically throughout. Sonny Rollins is known for his melodicism, so even though the session may have been to jam, it's still worth many listens. The title comes from the songs in the middle with the harpist sitting in. They're ballads, though not much is done with the harp. You could have had an acoustic guitarist strumming open chords.
There isn't anything groundbreaking or world-shattering, but you have Kenny Dorham in fine form with a stellar backing cast. It's a good CD.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on November 24, 2007
1957 was for me, a magic year when it comes to jazz. So many great be-bop and hard bop albums came out that year. This one was recorded on May 21 and 27, 1957 in New York City. Jack Higgins did a good job of recording, but I wish Rudy Van Gelder would have done it, but then again no one compared to Rudy. The newer remastered version isn't worth the extra price. No difference in sound on my high end system. Buy this version instead, UNLESS of course, you can get your hands on the original LP. Here we have Kenny Dorham, Sonny Rollins doing some GREAT Tenor Sax work. Hank Jones on piano, Oscar Pettiford on Bass, Max Roach on Drums, can it get any better than this? I think not. The ballad "Larue" written by Clifford Brown and arranged by Gigi Gryce is heavenly. Betty Glamman plays harp on this cut and also on the cut entitled "But Beautiful" What an album. A shame that Kenny Dorham never got the fame he deserved. Another "Unsung Hero".
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on June 1, 2011
I found this record in the last, most hick place one would ever expect to find a record store, back in the '70s. The owner thought Kenny Dorham, Sonny Rollins and Hank Crawford were country/western singers, so when this record showed up, he immediately rescinded the other two. Boy, was he glad to see me, 6 months later; so glad that he helped me "steal" it from him, to get rid of it. I didn't know the record, but I knew KD, which was all I needed to know. This time, he brought titan tenor Sonny Rollins with him AND Max Roach. The eloquence of MJQ's Hank Jones' piano and the great bass of Oscar Pettiford are omnipresent as well. Harpist Betty Glamman, probably from a symphonic field, adds class and grace. Anyway here it is: Oscar intros a super-cool KD and "Falling In Love With Love", with a hot Max 'cookin' right behind him. Known for his 'cutting edge', KD is soon off and blowing that smoke that he does so well. His 'cutting edge' comes from Fats Navarro. Notice Hank's work behind KD. Sonny slides in, laying down a cool, slick solo of his own, before Hank. Oscar gets off a very good solo here. "I'll Remember April" is a high-speed 'hardbopper's delight'. KD's solo is very sane, even at this pace, and with Oscar and Max driving hard. Sonny, obviously loves the madness, as he is soon 'right at home' here. Hank picks right up where Sonny leaves off, solos briefly before KD brings on explosive fours with Sonny and Max. Max, then gets loose! One of the best solos ever heard, pulsed by Oscar. Excitment!! Betty and Oscar introduce KD and "Larue", a slower, almost ballard. ALMOST! Until KD comes out cookin' right after the theme. Betty's support is really beautiful. Sonny is not heard here. "My Old Flame" IS a ballard, very nicely handled by KD, with Sonny, Betty and Hank in the background. Sonny solos, in excellent ballard fashion, before Kenny comes back to close. "But Beautiful" is another ballard. Notice Betty's beautiful work on the theme. KD comes out 'smoking (again), then settles down. The song is brief. "La Villa" is a typical Dorham-Rollins-Roach high-speed, hardbop jam. Kenny 'smokes', Sonny 'waxes', Max 'drives. Hank solos. Some powerful 'fours' again releases Max with another MONSTER, tho' brief. KD and Sonny prepair to close. This is an excellent component to a good collection. Check it out. You'll be glad you did.
on August 4, 2015
A beautiful album by Kenny Dorham with an incredible band. Unfortunately the sound quality is awful, even on the re-mastered "Keepnews Collection" version. The mix is muddy and low. If this were on Prestige or Blue Note it would sound much better. This makes it frustrating because it features some of KD's best playing ever recorded. Sonny Rollins, Pettiford, Jones, Roach, and Glamman are all playing their asses off as well.
Even with the muddy mix, this is some extraordinary music by some of the greatest musicians ever.
on October 27, 2011
This album was recorded back in 1957. For its age the sound fidelity and musical phrasing are great. I liked the first, second and sixth bands best. The harp that was used as background in bands 3, 4, and 5 did not seem to fit with the rest of the instruments. I found band 5 (But Beautiful) to be too short and the harp backgound way over shadowed the melody (trumpet solo). Yet, in 1957 this was probably an experiment. In any event, Kenny plays well as does Sonny Rollins. I am glad that I purchased this CD.