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The first five tracks feature an all star lineup:
Kenny on trumpet, J.J. Johnson on trombone, Hank Mobley on tenor sax, Cecil Payne on baritione sax, Horace Silver on piano, Oscar Petiford on bass, Art Blakey on drums, and Carlos 'Potato' Valdes on conga ... wow!
I highly recommend this album along with just about all Kenny's albums.
The first half of this album is Afro Cuban jazz and include Valdez on Conga. The second half is mainstream jazz in nature and drops Valdez for a more mainstream feel. Also on the second half, J.J. Johnson is not present, and Pettiford is replaced by Heath on bass. It's like two different albums in one, but ALL of it is great. This album has the debut version of Dorhams famous (relatively speaking of course) "Lotus Flower" and an alternate, previously unreleased alternate take of "Minor's Holiday". Recorded by the great Rudy Van Gelder in Hackensack, N.J. in 1955. (two seperate recording sessions) Cuts 1-5 were done on March 29, and cuts 6-9 were done a couple of months earlier on January 30, but unfortunately not re-masted by (in my honest opinion) his best sidekick, Phil DeLancie. I guess I'm used to the dynamic duo of Van Gelder and DeLancie when it comes to music from this era, and I can truly hear immediately when DeLancie is missing from the mix. Just a tid bit, but if you are an audiophile as well as a Jazz lover, you might notice that when listening. A must have recording if you are a Kenny Dorham fan. While you're at it, pick up a copy of Dorham's "Whistle Stop" and the sometimes hard to find (so keep looking) "Kenny Dorham Memorial" from January 10, 1960, and you'll have a great Kenny Dorham collection.
Kenny gets most of the time, and it's just as well, because the presence of the other two giants seems to bring out the best in him. No one articulates a single note in more varied, expressive ways then Dorham--he squeezes it shut, opens it up, comes at it from above, then underneath--and still manages to keep the ideas flowing and swinging. "Minor's Holiday" is such a delight you can't wait for the alternate take just for a chance to experience it again from a different angle. Mobley is Mr. Consistency, talking up a blues storm on each of his turns, and J. J. provides that extra life and spark that a Curtis Fuller, for all of his virtues, simply couldn't bring to a set like this. The last 4 tunes don't quite measure up, but the 5-star performance on the first 5 tunes is sufficiently memorable to characterize the session as a whole.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I am pleased with the product and the speed in which it was sent.Published 11 months ago by Bryan Muhammad
Kenny Dorham , i am a big fan of trumpet players and i would put this man in my top 30 of players . He was a wonderful composerPublished 14 months ago by Larry D Harris
Great album by a jazz trailblazer. This is a must to include in any record and vinyl collection. Kenny Dorham created one of his best albums for Blue Note and his influence can be... Read morePublished 24 months ago by Jazzgirl3
Recorded in 1955, this music still retains its potency, power, and joy. Dorham is a relatively new discovery to me, but I WAS quite familiar with other players on these sesssions,... Read morePublished on February 7, 2013 by Donald E. Gilliland
If you are a devotee of great Hard Bop in general, and classic old Blue Note sessions in particular, Kenny Dorham's Afro Cuban is a must have. Read morePublished on August 22, 2012 by Roger Bennett