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Jazz Contrasts: KENNY DORHAM

RLP-117 118 A
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Jazz Contrasts: KENNY DORHAM
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RLP-117 118 B.jpg

Kenny Dorham (tp) Sonny Rollins (ts) (on Side 1; and on Side 2, #2 and 4) Hank Jones (p) Oscar Pettiford (b) Max Roach (drs) Betty Glamman (harp) (on Side 2, #1-3 only)   New York; May 21 and 27, 1957


1. Falling in Love with Love (9:10) (Rodgers and Hart)

2. I'll Remember April (12:01) (Raye – DePaul – Johnston)


1. Larue (4:27) (Clifford Brown/ arr. Gigi Gryce)

2. My Old Flame (5:21) (Johnson – Coslow/ arr. Gigi Gryce)

3. But Beautiful (2:42) (McHugh – Van Heusen: arr. Kenny Dorham)

4. La Villa (7:00) (Kenny Dorham)

   KENNY DORHAM is by now established as one of today's major trumpet stars. Like all the trumpet men who came up in the bop period or thereafter, he has had to serve several years of what might be called involuntary apprenticeship: overshadowed more than a little by those style setting youngish "elder statesmen," Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis. But that apprenticeship can now be considered to have been left far behind him. a rich toned and powerful horn man, whose approach to jazz has always been marked by freshness and buoyancy, "K.D." has in recent years also displayed a steadily developing maturity of conception. By now, both his fellow musicians and an ever growing percentage of the jazz public have recognized that Dorham's trumpet speaks with its own personal voice, that he is an individual and valuable artist. In short, Kenny Dorham has arrived.

   For his album, Kenny has chosen to demonstrate the very broad scope of his playing. Three of the six numbers here are ballads with a mood and feeling that is rather unique in small band jazz. The 'differentness' is keynoted by the addition of a harp. In these scorings two by the notable young arranger, Gigi Gryce, and the other by Dorham the harp is not merely used to produce rich background voicings at random: it serves, as Gigi puts it, as "the orchestra," its function being to combine with the rhythm section in creating an unusual sound that provides a full setting for some extremely warm and soulful trumpet work.

   On the two numbers of Side 1 and the final selection on the second side, there is a considerable change of mood. These are in the swinging, medium tempo vein for which Dorham is best known. Here Kenny is joined by the formidable talents of Sonny Rollins (who also appears on one of the ballads), and here he shows his ability to blow jazz that is not only exciting but meaningful and uncliched - even at speeds at which most horn men would find it necessary to devote all their attention and energy merely to making sure they could hit all the notes. (For special kicks, note how Dorham and Pettiford spur each other through the opening chorus of a rip-snorting I'll Remember April.)

KENNY DORHAM, born in Texas in August 1924, made his first appearance on the jazz scene during the mid ‘40s heyday of bop. Among those he worked with in the middle and late 1940s were Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Billy Eckstine's big band, and Lionel Hampton. More recently he was a member of Art Blakey's original Jazz Messengers, and then with the Max Roach Quintet, as the able successor to the late Clifford Brown's moving ballad, Larue.)

   Kenny benefits from having selected, as his associates on this album, a remarkably talented group of musicians. SONNY ROLLINS has quickly become recognized as the major new tenor sax stylist of the mid '50s, and has already exerted a vast influence on a very substantial number of young tenor men. He played alongside Dorham in the Roach group. At the time of this recording he had just left Roach to concentrate on musical studies, and then joined Miles Davis' quintet.

   The Jones-Pettiford-Roach rhythm section can hardly be considered without going into superlatives. Ever since his early work on Charlie Parker's celebrated first Dial records, MAX ROACH has been the most highly regarded, most widely influential and most frequently imitated of bop and post bop drummers. OSCAR PETTIFORD, frequent poll winner and immediate inheritor of the mantle of the late Jimmy Blanton, occupies a position among bassists quite comparable to Roach's among drummers. HANK JONES, less widely known to the public, is undoubtedly most musicians' choice as today's top rhythm section pianist. Harpist BETTY GLAMMAN, most recently featured with Pettiford's big band, combines thorough going skill with a jazz feeling that is certainly rare on her instrument.

   Although this LP is clearly an expression of Dorham's individual jazz ideas and taste, the presence of Rollins and Roach on the one hand, and Pettiford, Miss Glamman and two scores by Gryce (who has written a substantial portion of the book for Oscar's orchestra) on the other, gives the album two subsidiary flavors that are both impressive and highly dissimilar. All of which helps to point up the wide range of the Jazz Contrasts that Dorham so effectively presents here.

   Dorham can also be heard on two other Riverside albums –

Presenting ERNIE HENRY; with Kenny Dorham, Kenny Drew

Jazz by Gee: MATTHEW GEE All-Stars; with Kenny Dorham, Frank Foster, Ernie Henry, Cecil Payne (RLP12-221)

   Rollins Roach and Pettiford all appear on –

Brilliant Corners: THELONIOUS MONK, with Sonny Rollins, Ernie Henry, Clark Terry, Max Roach, Oscar Pettiford, Paul Chambers (RLP12-226)

   Rollins is also featured on –

The Sound of Sonny: SONNY ROLLINS, with Sonny Clark, Percy Heath, Paul Chambers, Roy Heynes (RLP12-241)

   Oscar Pettiford has appeared on several Riverside albums; he and Hank Jones are together on –

The Hawk Flies High: COLEMAN HAWKINS, with J. J. Johnson, Idrees Sulieman, Hank Jones, Oscar Pettiford


   Arrangements (as well as alto sax) by Gryce are featured on –

GIGI GRYCE and the Jazz Lab Quintet; with Donald Byrd (RLP12-229)

   Other outstanding jazz on HIGH FIDELITY 12-inch Riverside LPs includes –

Monk’s Music: THELONIOUS MONK Septet, with Coleman Hawkins, Art Blakey, Gigi Gryce (RLP12-242)

Thelonious Himself: solo piano by THELONIOUS MONK (RLP12-235)

This Is New: KENNY DREW, with Donald Byrd, Hank Mobley (RLP12-236)

Serenade to a Bus Seat: CLARK TERRY Quintet; with Johnny Griffin, Wynton Kelly (RLP12-237)

A Grand Night for Swinging: MUNDELL LOWE, with Billy Taylor, Gene Quill (RLP12-238)

Jazz a la Bohemia: RANDY WESTON Trio and Cecil Payne – recorded at the Café Bohemia (RLP12-238)

Sultry Serenade: HERBIE MANN Sextet/Quartet (RLP12-234)

BOBBY JASAPR, tenor and flute; with George Wallington, Idrees Sulieman (RLP12-240)

Zoot! – The ZOOT SIMS Quintet (RLP12-228)


A HIGH FIDELITY Recording Riverside Reeves SPECTROSONIC High Fidelity Engineering

(Audio Compensation: RIAA Curve.

Produced, and notes written by, Orrin Keepnews.

Cover by Paul Weller (photography) and Paul Bacon (design).

Engineer: Jack Higgins (Reeves Sound Studios)


553 West 51st Street New York 19, N.Y.

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