Kenny DORHAM – Quiet Kenny 1959

Kenny DORHAM – Quiet Kenny 1959
1992 Issue.

Jazz

In the liner notes of Quiet Kenny, former Downbeat magazine publisher Jack Maher states that trumpeter Kenny Dorham’s music is not necessarily the demure, balladic, rapturous jazz one might associate as romantic or tranquil. Cool and understated might be better watchwords for what the ultra-melodic Dorham achieves on this undeniably well crafted set of standards and originals that is close to containing his best work overall during a far too brief career. Surrounded by an excellent rhythm team of the equally sensitive pianist Tommy Flanagan, emerging bassist Paul Chambers, and the always-beneficial drummer Art Taylor, Dorham and his mates are not prone to missteps or overt exaggerations. One of Dorham’s all-time best tunes “Lotus Blossom” kicks off the set with its bop to Latin hummable melody, fluid dynamics, and Dorham’s immaculate, unpretentious tone. “Old Folks,” a classic ballad, is done mid-tempo, while the true “quiet” factor comes into play on interesting version of “My Ideal” where Dorham gingerly squeezes out the slippery wet notes, and on the sad ballad “Alone Together.” The rest of the material is done in easygoing, unforced fashion, especially the originals “Blue Friday” and the simple swinger “Blue Spring Shuffle” which is not really a shuffle. Never known as a boisterous or brash player, but also not a troubadour of romanticism — until he started singing — Dorham’s music is also far from complacent, and this recording established him as a Top Five performer in jazz on his instrument. It comes recommended to all.
By Michael G. Nastos.
**
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.”
By Scott Yanow, AMG.
**
Kenny Dorham- Trumpet
Tommy Flanagan- Piano
Paul Chambers- Bass
Arthur Taylor- Drums
**
01. Lotus Blossom  4:36
02. My Ideal  5:04
03. Blue Friday  8:45
04. Alone Together  3:09
05. Blue Spring Shuffle  7:34
06. I Had the Craziest Dream  4:38
07. Old Folks  5:11
08. Mack the Knife  3:02
**


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