Round About Midnight At The Cafe Bohemia: Complete (CD)


Kenny Dorham

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Amoeba Review

John Schacht 07/07/2010

Lost in a flurry of live re-releases from Blue Note in the early 2000s, this marvelous two-disc set might as well stand in as metaphor for the underrated trumpeter and composer Kenny Dorham, who played his whole career in the shadows of greater horn players and writers. In the late 40s and early 50s it was Dizzy Gillespie and Fats Navarro; in the mid-50s it was Clifford Brown and Miles Davis; in the 60s Lee Morgan and Freddie Hubbard stood in the spotlight. But Dorham soldiered on, and briefly led one of those great “if only” bands of the hard bop era. His Jazz Prophets recorded only three times in two months, including this live set. The other dates were studio recordings for ABC-Paramount, including the hard bop essential Kenny Dorham and the Jazz Prophets, Vol. 1; a Vol. 2 was recorded but never released, and the tapes were subsequently lost. As Bob Blumenthal writes in his updated liner notes, part of Dorham’s problem was “the unfamiliarity of his sidemen” at the time. Though the trumpeter and drummer Arthur Edgehill were familiar names, tenor man J.R. Monterose was criminally under-recorded as a leader, and the rest of the Prophets were unknown to all but diehard jazz fans at the time – but not for long. Bobby Timmons (replaced by Dick Katz on Jazz Prophets, Vol. 1), was new to the East coast scene, having played with Chet Baker in L.A. before coming to New York. Sam Jones was soon to become an in-demand bassist and a key member of Cannonball Adderly’s famous quintet, but his star had yet to rise in ’56. Even guest artist Kenny Burrell was just getting started when Dorham asked him to play on this four-set date (the guitarist only appears during the final two sets). But the group exhibits its vast potential right from the opening track, an alternate take of Dorham’s “K.D.’s Blues (the songs have been chronologically re-sequenced). It might not be as strong as the album Dorham and the Jazz Messengers recorded a year earlier at the Café Bohemia, but it’s got plenty of highlights. Eight of the 14 non-alternate takes are Dorham compositions, among them “Monaco” (the best example of the trumpeter’s playing and composing skills this night), “New York Theme,” and “Mexico City,” Burrell’s showcase tune. The sextet also plays exciting versions of Gillespie’s classic “A Night In Tunisia,” Thelonious Monk’s title cut, the Gershwin brothers’ “Who Cares,” and Rodgers’ and Hart’s “My Heart Stood Still.” It’s sadly fitting that the final song is Dorham’s hard bop masterpiece, “The Prophet,” a longer version of which led off his ill-fated group’s studio date. But the listener can tell from even the sparse audience at this show that Dorham’s group deserved a bigger audience, and it imbues this date with a palpably bittersweet feeling.



Track Listing



Disc 1 Titles
Artist
Length
1.
K.D.'s Blues [Alternate Take]
Kenny Dorham 10:41
2.
Autumn in New York
Kenny Dorham 04:38
3.
Monaco [Alternate Take]
Kenny Dorham 05:33
4.
N.Y. Theme
Kenny Dorham 05:39
5.
K.D.'s Blues
Kenny Dorham 09:30
6.
Hill's Edge
Kenny Dorham 08:16
7.
A Night in Tunisia
Kenny Dorham 09:31
8.
Who Cares? [Alternate Take]
Kenny Dorham 04:59
9.
Royal Roost
Kenny Dorham 08:41


Disc 2 Titles
Artist
Length
1.
Mexico City
Kenny Dorham 06:02
2.
'Round About Midnight
Kenny Dorham 07:44
3.
Monaco
Kenny Dorham 06:37
4.
Who Cares?
Kenny Dorham 06:21
5.
My Heart Stood Still
Kenny Dorham 07:49
6.
Riffin'
Kenny Dorham 07:50
7.
Mexico City [Alternate Take]
Kenny Dorham 06:33
8.
The Prophet
Kenny Dorham 06:20

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