Jump to content

The great Kenny Dorham


Claude Schlouch
 Share

Recommended Posts

  • Replies 106
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Strange how these threads pop up at just the right time. I was spinning QUIET KENNY yesterday for the first time in a while and just really dug every minute of it. Then I thought to myself how much I dig all of my KD albums, both as a leader and a sideman. However, I only have some of his mid to later period stuff (ie. 1955 onward); what are some good earlier KD sessions?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've always thought that the United Artists album cut with McLean, 'Matador', was very under-rated. Some of my favourite Kenny Dorham on that one. The mid-60s Prestige sessions made with Cedar Walton are also hugely enjoyable.

It's fitting that he had that fine partnership with Joe Henderson. Both of these guys had the characteristic of being hugely consistent and also very flexible as sidemen to adapt to the salient requirements of the session.

Check out also the CD that came with Randi Hultin's biography for a nice vocal performance by Kenny. Good voice too..untapped potential.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Check out also the CD that came with Randi Hultin's biography for a nice vocal performance by Kenny. Good voice too..untapped potential.

KD also did some nice singing (in addition to playing the trumpet) on the Riverside album 'This is the Moment' (with Curtis Fuller and Cedar Walton) that should be available on OJC.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm actually spinning Quiet Kenny at the moment...

Each time I hear Kenny the main thing that really sticks out is that TONE! God this was one soulful cat. There really are only a select number of artists that are instantly recognizable and have beautiful things to communicate to the listener...Kenny had this gift. The above mentioned ability to fit comfortably into any context is of course also a major plus, whether straight bebop, ballads or boogaloo...he's always himself and always in the groove.

The partnership that he shared with Hank Mobley in The Jazz Messengers and other later dates was amazing. One of my personal favorite jazz duos. The chemistry and overall approach they had to music was so in sync. When listening to a record like Whistle Stop (that borders on the supernatural) you are easily and effortlessly whisked away to a place much better than the one we're in...and for 40 minutes or so you're in the best nightclub in the world while Kenny & Hank weave their spell.

I actually know very little of Kenny's personal life, so I share Lon's mention of a much needed bio.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

To those who might not be aware of who the topic starter is : Claude Schouch is the man who published the Hank Mobley, Lee Morgan, and many other jazz great discographies. Welcome on board Claude !

Claude has been posting here off an on.

He is also the author of a Kenny Dorham discography!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am sure that I have read that KDs playing was erratic but I've never been disappointed by his work. So many good albums too hard to choose a favourite.

Currently waiting for one of the Time CDs. Hope "Trumpet Toccata" will see the light of day as an RVG or Conn.

Wouldn't it be amazing if the tapes for "Jazz Prophets" Vol 2 turned up....some chance...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The partnership that he shared with Hank Mobley in The Jazz Messengers and other later dates was amazing. One of my personal favorite jazz duos. The chemistry and overall approach they had to music was so in sync. When listening to a record like Whistle Stop (that borders on the supernatural) you are easily and effortlessly whisked away to a place much better than the one we're in...and for 40 minutes or so you're in the best nightclub in the world while Kenny & Hank weave their spell.

very well said! :tup

I first heard Whistle Stop when it came out as an RVG, and I loved it right from the beginning! One of my favorite RVGs!

ubu

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am sure that I have read that KDs playing was erratic but I've never been disappointed by his work. So many good albums too hard to choose a favourite.

Currently waiting for one of the Time CDs. Hope "Trumpet Toccata" will see the light of day as an RVG or Conn.

Wouldn't it be amazing if the tapes for "Jazz Prophets" Vol 2 turned up....some chance...

And yes, "Trompeta Toccata" - anyone heard anything about this coming out again? It should really be an RVG, together with In'n'Out, so we would have all five albums together...

And the Jazz Prophets Vol. 2 - I think that has been discussed from time to time, however I can't remember any details. I'd certainly love to hear it! Vol. 1 is among my very favorite KD records!

ubu

Adrian, I don't know if the erratic thing had more to do with KDs career in general rather than his playing. He seemed not to get his things together. I mean he was with Bird, which should have granted him a great start - but just not everybody who's an excellent musician makes an excellent leader/manager/accountant and whatever that includes, too!

Dorham seemed to pop up and disappear from time to time.

What did he do between Bird and the Jazz Messengers?

What after the Messengers? He did not lead his own band in the years he made his now OJC records, didn't he?

And why did he only make "Whistle Stop" for Blue Note at that time? Was that a lame seller? Or did he fall out with Lion (which seems not to be the case as he entered the Blue Note roster again later with Henderson, Hill, and as a leader)?

What did he do in the first years of the sixties? And what after the five albums with Joe Henderson?

I get it he was in Europe, too?

And what's his story from say 1964 to his death?

Lots of questions... maybe some answers are known by somebody here?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If Claude cannot answer these questions, who can?

Some speculative thoughts:

Kenny Dorham appears to me as a pretty self-conscious man who wants to make sure he gets his due credit. He was the first to break out from the original Jazz Messengers after the first two Blue Note 10" LPs. Conflicts about leadership. His band was called "The Jazz Prophets". One of their albums for ABC remained unissued, the tapes are lost - bad luck sure was involved. The common practice of giving publishing rights to the labels' own company might be a reason. He was a good writer. He played with Max Roach's quintet after Clifford Brown's death, before Booker Little.

He wanted to be his own man, and not be put into a bag. Too individualistic for your typical Blue Note pool of players. But the band with Joe Henderson, that worked! Five LPs, but three of them under Joe's name! Everybody remembers it was Joe's albums, but Kenny wrote the hit tunes! He never got the credit he deserved. Always was placed a notch below Dizzy or Brownie or Miles. Maybe he was not quite as great, but he certainly was his own man and was one of the top five bop trumpets!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Afrodisia,Una Mas and didn't he do a version of Chicken and Dumplings with Art Blakey? Just a few great tunes from one of the greats.

I have that one on "At the Jazz Corner of the World", with Morgan, Mobley, Timmons and Merritt. A great one!

Mike, thanks for your thoughts! I forgot about KD's stay with Blakey (I don't have the Mosaic yet, but I have that "Max" album which came out in the Chessmate series some years ago. A nice one).

ubu

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...