The Jazz Prophets

Kenny Dorham

The Jazz Prophets

The Jazz Prophets

Kenny Dorham, trumpet; J.R. Monterose, tenor sax; Dick Katz, piano;
Sam Jones, bass; Arthur Edgehill, drums.

1. The Prophet (Kenny Dorham) 9:59
2. Blues Elegante (Kenny Dorham) 8:41
3. DX [mp3] (Kenny Dorham) 5:19
4. Don't Explain (Holiday-Herzog) 7:11
5. Tahitian Suite (Kenny Dorham) 7:33
Produced by CREED TAYLOR
Cover Photo by ALAN FONTAINE
Cover Design by HOLLIS KING
Recording by IRV GREENBAUM
Recorded on April 4, 1956

Kenny Dorham is one of those artists who have not as yet been accorded their deserved share of recognition. And he is certainly to be considered a man of long experience, having been active in the jazz picture for over 10 years now. Going back to the middle and late '40s, one points to Dizzy, Fats and Miles in terms of the trumpet. But many don't remember that Kenny Dorham was very much a part of that group.

Born 32 years ago in Texas, of a musical family, Kenny gained big band experience with such people as Dizzy, Billy Eckstine, Lionel Hampton and Mercer Ellington. From 1948-1950 he played with Charlie Parker, appearing with Bird at the Paris Jazz Festival in 1949. For the following five years Kenny freelanced with many groups until he joined Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers in early 1955. He remained for nearly a year during which time he appeared on two LP's with the Messengers.

Early this year, Kenny left to form his own group which he calls the Prophets. Perhaps with his new unit he will realize some of the benefit of recognition which he has heretofore missed out on. Kenny's influence is apparent in the playing of many younger hornmen around today.

The fellow Prophets are J.R. Monterose, the diminutive tenor saxist of the Sonny Rollins style of blowing; Dick Katz, a very busy pianist these days who continutes to grow in stature; Sam Jones, bass and Arthur Edgehill, drums.

The group's namesake opens with a minor-keyed unison line. The second and last eight bars have a chord sequence somewhat similar to "All God's Children Got Rhythm." The theme is followed by eight bars of what George Wallington calls "the peck" (short, staccato-phrased interplay between the two horns).

The walking "Blues Elegante" has a 12-bar opening by Dick Katz and 24 of Sam Jones' big-toned bass. The two horns follow with the rather unusual theme, Kenny playing muted.

"DX" [mp3] the up-tempoed offering on the LP, follows somewhat along the "I Got Rhythm" pattern with the exception of the bridge which descends chromatically.

Billie Holiday's beautiful and seldom-heard "Don't Explain" provides and excellent vehicle for Kenny's ballad approach. Dick Katz has 16 bars in the final chorus.

The minor-keyed "Tahitian Suite" has a fairly long ensemble theme played in 6/8 time. Kenny, J.R., Dick and Sam have solos in regular 4/4 and the theme reappears in 6/8 to close out the session.

--TOM STEWART, from the liner notes.

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