Kenny Dorham

The Art of the Ballad

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Though the least celebrated of the artists featured in Fantasy's initial The Art of the Ballad offering, Kenny Dorham is by no means the most negligible, as this selection of ballads, augmented by some of the leading names in jazz demonstrates. However, with only six Dorham albums on Riverside, Debut and New Jazz to choose from, Fantasy had to turn elsewhere to fill out the CD, to sessions led by Ernie Henry, Oliver Nelson and Harold Land. Indeed, even on Dorham's own recordings, he doesn't always dominate -- the most telling example being Cannonball Adderley's ardent solos that light up "It Might as Well Be Spring" and steal the show. Elsewhere, the listener will hear a number of Dorham's sounds -- the big open sound of "Darn That Dream," the veiled, toned, fleetfingered hard bop Dorham of "Falling in Love with Love," the sweet muted work on Nelson's "Passion Flower," and various combinations of tone and articulation. No rarities; everything is available elsewhere on silver discs.

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