Stage West – Kenny Dorham
A tour de force on the uptempo blues, with a head four choruses long and a send-off for the solos. All parts of the quintet arrangement are available.
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- Recording: Kenny Dorham - The Arrival
- Recorded on: January 10, 1960
- Label: Jaro (JAM 5007)
- Concert Key: B-flat
- Vocal Range: , to
- Style: Swing (uptempo)
- Trumpet - Kenny Dorham
- Bari Sax - Charles Davis
- Piano - Tommy Flanagan
- Bass - Butch Warren
- Drums - Buddy Enlow
As with many Dorham compositions, the rhythm section plays a particularly important role here. The first two choruses focus melodically on the 4th, E♭, bringing out a suspended quality for the tonic chord that really sets it in motion. The turnarounds of these choruses use C7 instead of the expected C minor, contrasting with the E♭ as a common tone for all the other chords. The C7 melody (slightly different between the two choruses) is transposed down a half step on the next measure, outlining B7 as a tritone sub for the rhythm section's F7. This and the C7 are played as stop-time hits. On the second chorus, the rhythm section plays an F pedal on beats 2 and 4 for the first three measures, followed again by a break.
The third and fourth choruses have a simpler melody, played in a high register and then an octave lower. The third chorus has rhythm section hits throughout with a drum break on the last two measures, while the fourth has a 4-feel going back to the hits in the seventh measure. These choruses lead to yet another chorus, a series of hits for six measures that launch the first solo. This "send-off" is also used as a background; on the recording it reappears to set up the drum solo, essentially trading 6s. The out melody is the first two choruses only, followed by a stop-time coda.
Second parts are available for this two-horn arrangement; the horns play in octaves for most of the first three choruses, harmonizing the entire fourth chorus and the "send-off." On the coda, the second part joins the rhythm section stop-time until the last three measures, where the horns are in octaves again.
As we've done with other Kenny Dorham songs, we have included the melody in all rhythm section parts, on a smaller staff above the main staff. With so much rhythm section activity, we feel it's very important for the rhythm section players to know what is going on in the melody in order to lock in their parts in the arrangement.
Another notable Kenny Dorham recording from 1960 is "Eastward Ho!" by a quintet co-led by Dorham and Harold Land, who was visiting New York from Los Angeles. It is the only recorded collaboration of Dorham and Land, two Texans who became established on opposite coasts.
August 30, 1924 – December 15, 1972
Trumpeter/composer Kenny Dorham was very much on the jazz scene from the mid-1940s through most of the 1960s. He worked and recorded with all the major figures in the modern jazz movement, which includes the legendary Billy Eckstine big band, Dizzy Gillespie, Art Blakey, Bud Powell, Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk and Max Roach as well as Kenny Clarke, Sonny Stitt, Fats Navarro, J.J. Johnson and many other giants of that period. Read more...