Una Mas Kenny Dorham
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- 1Una Mas (One More Time)15:16
- 2Straight Ahead08:56
- 3Sao Paulo07:18
Info for Una Mas
Trumpeter Kenny Dorham's Una Mas was one of 1963's best records. The thought of hearing it reissued on ultra-high quality vinyl by the good folks at Music Matters should make jazz heads swoon. With its melding of hard-bop, bossa nova, and the blues, Una Mas is a prime example of the memorable vamps that Blue Note favored at the time, finding ultimate success later that year with Lee Morgan's The Sidewinder.
Dorham was a prolific recording artist for almost a decade before Una Mas—both under his own name and as a sideman for some of jazz's most notable leaders. He wasn't the flashiest or most aggressive player, but he had impeccably good taste as a soloist, and his compositions have enjoyed consistent attention from musicians ever since.
With Una Mas, Dorham takes a few risks. Not every jazz musician that tries to infuse Latin rhythms is successful, and in retrospect, some efforts sound contrived. By contrast, Una Mas manages the fusion seamlessly, leaving a record notable for its insistent but not overpowering rhythm, and simple, powerful melodies.
Una Mas is also notable as the first recorded appearance of the great tenor saxophonist Joe Henderson. Fresh out of the Army, Henderson's debut is unusually self-assured. A disciple of Charlie Parker, his playing here doesn't betray any copycat licks; instead, he turns in a solid performance of beautifully constructed solos. In many respects his playing here is more adventurous than Dorham's, a hint of great things yet to come.
The catchy and suave title track is one of the most recognizable tunes in the Blue Note catalog, built on brilliant economy and using a simple two-note bounce with a tight, blue chorus. Herbie Hancock contributes a particularly sophisticated handling of the two-note theme by modifying the chords almost continuously, even as he remains tightly within the rhythmic framework. The lineup, rounded out by bassist Butch Warren and drummer Tony Williams (only 17 at the time) is as tight and swinging as they come.
Una Mas stands out for its sonic excellence—no small compliment. The entire record enjoys an unusually spacious three-dimensional quality that defies the physical boundaries of the loudspeakers.
A classic and essential recording, the perfectionist sonic qualities of Music Matters' reissue of Una Mas just makes it that much more compelling.“ (Greg Simmons, AllAboutJazz)
Kenny Dorham, trumpet
Herbie Hancock, piano
Joe Henderson, tenor saxophone
Butch Warren, double bass
Tony Williams, drums
Recorded on April 1, 1963 at Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey
Engineered by Rudy Van Gelder
Produced by Alfred Lion
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." (Scott Yanow). Source: Blue Note Records.
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