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Kenny Dorham: Afro-Cuban (1955/1957)


“Afro-Cuban” is an album of the 1955 sessions by Kenny Dorham, an American jazz trumpeter who had worked in the bebop and hard bop periods in the 1950s and 1960s.


The first four tracks, “Afrodisia”, “Lotus Flower”, “Minor’s Holiday” and “Basheer’s Dream” were recorded on March 29, 1955 by the four-horn nonet including Kenny Dorham (trumpet), Art Blakey (drums), Hank Mobley (tenor saxophone), Horace Silver (piano), J. J. Johnson (trombone), Cecil Payne (baritone saxophone), and Cuban-born conga player Carlos “Patato” Valdes (conga), and were released on 10-inch Vinyl by Blue Note in 1955.

Dorham, Blakey, Mobley and Silver were the first members of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers at that time.

These four tracks are renowned as classical performances of Afro-Cuban jazz, following Dizzy Gillespie’s “Manteca” (1947).

The first track “Afrodisia” is a composition known as a club jazz classic. It was reevaluated in the context of acid jazz in the UK club scene in the mid 1980s, after being played by British DJ Paul Murphy.

“Minor’s Holiday” was performed in the live album “At the Cafe Bohemia, Vol. 1” (1956) by the Jazz Messengers too.

Blue Note reissued it as a seven-track LP with three additional tracks in 1957. These three tracks were taken from the hard bop session recorded on January 30, 1955 by the three-horn sextet without Johnson and Latin percussions.

Blue Note released the remastered edition of the album as one of the RVG edition series in 2007. This 2007 edition includes two bonus tracks.

“Basheer’s Dream” was composed by Gigi Gryce. Other tracks are Dorham’s original compositions.

Kenny Dorham – 1955 – Afro-Cuban – 01 Afrodisia