Search - Kenny Dorham :: Whistle Stop

Whistle Stop
Kenny Dorham
Whistle Stop
Genres: Jazz, Pop
  •  Track Listings (7) - Disc #1

This 1961 date is one of the genuinely classic Blue Note hard-bop sessions. Trumpeter Dorham is joined by tenor saxophonist Hank Mobley, once his frontline partner in the original Jazz Messengers, the underrated pianist Ke...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Kenny Dorham
Title: Whistle Stop
Members Wishing: 3
Total Copies: 0
Label: Blue Note Records
Release Date: 10/10/2000
Album Type: Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered
Genres: Jazz, Pop
Style: Bebop
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 724352564620

This 1961 date is one of the genuinely classic Blue Note hard-bop sessions. Trumpeter Dorham is joined by tenor saxophonist Hank Mobley, once his frontline partner in the original Jazz Messengers, the underrated pianist Kenny Drew, and one of the finest rhythm teams ever to play jazz, bassist Paul Chambers and drummer Philly Joe Jones. The immediate distinguishing mark is Dorham's writing. Though only his "Blue Bossa" has become a jazz standard, he was a serious writer, not someone who merely dashed off casual heads. His tunes here have substance, like the sparkling blues "Buffalo" and the evocative, modal "Sunset" with its sudden piano punctuations under the theme. The title tune contrasts eerie dissonance with a snapping bop line, and "Sunrise in Mexico" orchestrates bass and piano into the theme. The concluding "Dorham's Epitaph," at little more than a minute, has an unadorned majesty. Dorham and Mobley shared a forceful lyricism and a rare camaraderie, and there are moments in "Sunrise" when Dorham's half-valves even suggest Mobley's round tenor sound. Jones makes a special contribution, adding a propulsive spark and a constant stream of detail. --Stuart Broomer

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CD Reviews

For Musicians (and Listeners Who Think Like Musicians)
Samuel Chell | Kenosha,, WI United States | 05/23/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Kenny Dorham was the thinking person's trumpet player, a musician who eschewed the passionate romanticism of Clifford, the dramatic flare of Lee, and the brassy virtuosity of Freddie in favor of unfailing melodic logic and economical lyricism, lightened by a frequently playful, puckish approach. He lets the music come to him, using his smallish yet centered, round sound to deconstruct and then reconstruct its most essential phrases into gemlike solos. Notice how smoothly he connects the 12-bar choruses on the opening blues--his phrasing virtually erases structural markers. The title tune, "Whistle Stop," is a striking example of Dorham's deceptive technique and clean articulations along with his vocal expressiveness on the horn. "Sunset in Mexico," based on a single G minor scale, features a beautifully arranged out-chorus preceded by a simple yet ingenious Dorham solo that neither Mobley nor Drew has an answer for.

Hank Mobley was the perfect frontline companion for Dorham, employing a similar commitment to melody and to making musical sense out of the materials at hand. Neither of these guys ever played with an "agenda," which may have contributed to their relative obscurity but insured the freshness and vitality of their art. Hank, in fact, had just joined Miles Davis at the time of this recording and comes as close as I've ever heard him to overshadowing the sound of the trumpet. Listen to his opportunistic choices on Dorham's "Windmill," one of the more complex melodies based on "Sweet Georgia Brown" chord changes.

As recent or current bandmates of Hank's, Philly Joe and Paul Chambers are definitely the right choices for the rhythm section, and it's hard to think of any Blue Note session from this period on which Kenny Drew would have been a bad choice. Finally, it should be noted that "Whistle Stop" contains an all-Dorham program and, despite omitting "Blue Bossa," displays the trumpeter's compositional talents perhaps better than any other recording (besides the melodic heads, notice especially his inventive little set-ups and codas)."
Engaging Jazz From a Great Lineup
Jack Baker | LeRoy,IL | 01/11/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I love this album. The compositions are all well thought out and interesting. This is by far one of my favorite jazz recordings. I'm a huge Hank Mobley fan, and he doesn't disappoint here. His tone is big and warm and he plays with fire. This was the first time I'd heard Kenny Dorham, although I'd heard some of his compositions performed on Freddie Hubbard's Goin' Up. The rhythm section of Paul Chambers and Philly Joe Jones holds everything together nicely, providing a solid groove. Kenny Drew is quite excellent as well. "Buffalo", "Sunrise in Mexico", and "Windmill" are standout tracks, but the whole album is top notch."