Top Artists – Kenny Dorham

Kenny Dorham – Whistle Stop

Hot Stamper Blue Note Albums Available Now

More Recordings by Rudy Van Gelder

This is a Minty looking Blue Label Blue Note LP with EXCELLENT SOUND. It features performances by Hank Mobley, Kenny Drew, Paul Chambers and Philly Joe Jones.

To hear this record work its magic, go right to track two on side one. That’s Blue Note Music and Sound at their best! 

“Dorham teams up with tenor-saxophonist Hank Mobley (who he had recorded with previously along with Art Blakey and Max Roach), pianist Kenny Drew, bassist Paul Chambers, and drummer Philly Joe Jones for a set of lively, fresh, and consistently swinging music. This is a generally overlooked near-classic set.” – AMG

Kenny Dorham – Una Mas

Hot Stamper Blue Note Albums Available Now

More recordings by Rudy Van Gelder

  • Side one was the best we heard in our shootout, earning a grade of nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++)
  • It’s clear yet rich- the horns are full-bodied and warm, and the top is fairly extended
  • Side two earned a Double Plus (A++) grade – by track two it’s full, smooth and natural
  • Both sides are exceptionally quiet, playing a true Mint Minus – for Blue Note that’s rare!

A fun and lively Blue Note, presented here with two especially hot sides and quiet vinyl!

After hearing a copy that blew us away a few years back, we went on the hunt for enough pressings to get this shootout off the ground. It wasn’t easy — run across many clean Kenny Dorham LPs recently? — but we finally pulled it off and this copy really impressed the hell out of us compared to the others we had on hand to play.

Dorham is backed by a killer lineup here — Joe Henderson, Herbire Hancock, Butch Warren and Anthony Williams. AMG calls the music “explorative yet swinging music” that “lives up to its potential”. I’d say it’s one of the better “lesser-known” Blue Note titles, a real sleeper in their catalog. (more…)

Kenny Dorham / Cannonball Adderley – Blue Spring

More Cannonball Adderley

  • Dorham and Adderley’s 1959 collaboration finally arrives on the site with Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound on side two with an outstanding Double Plus (A++) side one 
  • This superb recording is huge and lively with startling dynamics and in-the-room-presence like nothing you’ve heard
  • The trumpet and saxophone are so full-bodied and Tubey Magical you won’t believe it – where is that sound today?
  • 4 stars: “The set features plenty of Dorham’s varied and sophisticated horn work and four of his top-drawer originals. The theme is spring… Essential listening for Dorham fans.”

To find a clean, 1959 Riverside pressing on the early Blue Label with vinyl any quieter and no groove damage whatsoever strikes us as practically impossible. This is the first pressing in audiophile playing quality we have ever seen, and we may never see its like again.

Jack Higgins was the engineer for these sessions. He recorded Chet Baker’s brilliant Chet album the same year, as well as another favorite of ours here at Better Records, Wynton Kelly’s wonderful (and very good sounding on ’80s OJC) Kelly Blue. (more…)

Sonny Rollins – Rollins Plays For Bird

Hot Stamper Pressings of Recordings by Rudy Van Gelder

  • Stunning Triple Plus (A+++) sound or very close to it throughout – this is the first copy to hit the site in many years and it is as good a pressing as we have ever heard
  • These Blue Label Prestige stereo pressings from the ’60s put everything else we played to shame – this is the Real Sound of Sonny Rollins at his peak in 1957
  • It’s beyond difficult to find good sound for the music of Charlie Parker, but this Sonny Rollins Hot Stamper LP gives you just that for some of Bird’s most famous tunes, backed with excellent performances from the likes of Kenny Dorham and Max Roach

This album is Rollins at his BEST. Allmusic gives it Four Stars and the Users rate it even higher, Four and a Half. The album released before this one was the legendary Saxophone Colossus, an album we would love to do more shootouts for, if we could only find them.

When the sound is as good as it is here, that’s the kind of jazz record that makes us sit up and pay attention. This quintet features trumpeter Kenny Dorham, pianist Wade Legge, bassist George Morrow and drummer Max Roach.

(more…)