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Una Mas [Import]

Kenny Dorham Audio CD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Una Mas + Whistle Stop (The Rudy Van Gelder Edition) + Afro-Cuban [VINYL]
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Product details

  • Audio CD (11 May 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Indies Japan/Zoom
  • ASIN: B0037ZF6UO
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ignore this cd at your peril! 26 Feb 2004
Format:Audio CD
Kenny Dorham is one of the most under-rated figures in jazz history. He is constantly obscured by the hysteria surrounding his peers (Miles Davis and the like). Whilst Dorham may not have the lyrical conciseness of Miles, the virtuistic bravado of Dizzy or the heartfelt truth of Chet; his be-bop stylings are unmistakable and unique. In truth he sits somewhere in the middle of Miles, Dizzy and Chet (think the tonal vunerability of Chet playing with the phrasing of Dizzy, and the inflective ability to follow an idea of Miles and you're halfway there). Perhaps this the reason for his obscurity, the fact that he is so 'middle of the road' when compared to other figures throughout jazz. But if you're a fan 60's jazz and you think you've heard it all, if you're reduced to listening to Wynton Marsalis and the 'hard-bop revival' to quench your listening requirements, go back and check out Dorham. He ain't to be missed.
The album 'Una Mas' was recorded in '63, and is characteristic Jazz at the time. Recorded just a few months before Lee Morgan's classic album 'The Sidewinder', it is very easy to draw comparison between the two. Both experiemnt with the fusion of jazz and latin rhythms; to the extent that their title tracks are VERY similar (buy it and see for youself...). And of course, both albums feature the ubiquitous Joe Henderson on tenor. Una Mas also features a young Herbie Hancock on piano, with Tony Williams on drums and Butch Warren on bass. A classic line-up and no mistake. Una Mas sees dorham branching further away from his be-bop roots, his playing is more impulsive and experimental than his work with Bird in the 40's, by this time Dorham is well into the avant-garde school. This recording is considered by many one of Dorham's greatest. So please, dont buy a re-issue of some rightfully obscure early Miles or, one of Wynton Marsalis' dull, backward looking displays of technical virtuosity. Buy this. You might just discover a forgotten jem.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great straightahead album 2 May 2009
Format:Audio CD
Quite agree with the other review of this fine album. The often overlooked but great partnership of Dorham-Henderson produced at least 3 minor classics, in this and Henderson's 'Our Thing' and 'Page One', all with quite different feels to them, not least because of their different rhythm sections. Cook and Morton are a bit sniffy about this album I think but it offers two great, if standardish for the time, themes, in the title track and 'Straight Ahead'. The soloing by both horn players is top class and Hancock does a great job of both interacting and supporting. Only 'Sao Paulo' has a slight air of routine about it I feel. The final ballad is played fairly straight but beautifully, giving Dorham's own take on less-is-more playing. If you like Blue Note early 60s stuff this is well worth trying out.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Uncrowned King 10 April 2014
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Kenny Dorham is an unfortunate figure in jazz. Despite being a great trumpeter and a foundation member of the Jazz Messengers, he was often overlooked in favour of his contemporaries, such as Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis, the latter of whom was a fan of Dorham. This is a shame because I have yet to find material of Dorham's that I haven't enjoyed.

Although I wouldn't rank Una Mas as his finest effort (I save that accolade for Afro-Cuban), it is still a solid album. Joining Dorham are Joe Henderson on tenor sax, Herbie Hancock on piano, Butch Warren on bass, and Tony Williams on drums (in Hancock and Williams, you have two-fifths of Miles Davis' second great quintet). The title track, clocking in at just over 15 minutes, gives everyone a real chance to stretch out. And just when it seems like the song has ended, and you're thinking "that's a pity it had to end", it carries on a little while longer! But for me, the real gem is Sao Paolo, a good swinging tune that should have your foot tapping away the whole time.

This would be Dorham's penultimate effort for Blue Note, which is a shame at this point in the 1960s, as it seems he was fulfilling a role as an elder statesman of jazz, shepherding in newer talent. His tutorship of Henderson clearly reaped great rewards for the jazz world. If you like this album as much as I do, I also recommend buying Trompeta Toccata, Dorham's final effort for Blue Note, which also features Henderson.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  15 reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely habit-forming (would there were many more) 22 July 2006
By Samuel Chell - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This is a revered session in some quarters, I know, but I suspect partly for the wrong reasons. The compositions are worthy (in fact, I find "Una Mas" similar to but more infectious than "Sidewinder") but not necessarily "essential." The personnel are first-rate, but Joe Henderson's harmonic adventurousness is no match for Hank Mobley's warmth and melodic inventiveness; nor are Tony Williams' dancing cymbals as irresistible a force of nature as Blakey's hot and explosive skins. In other words, rate this set, as far as the Dorham canon goes, with "The Jazz Messengers at the Cafe Bohemia," "Whistle Stop," and "Afro-Cuban" but not necessarily ahead of them.

The reason to own this one is the man who belongs on even the shortest list of trumpet greats (for example, Diz, Clifford, and Kenny?). His playing is absolutely addictive. No one else prepares and "cures" every single note, launching it with that lovely cushion of sound. No one plays with so little pose and showmanship, relying so exclusively on the substance of the music itself to make sense--intellectually and emotionally--without reliance on extraneous effects. There's tenderness, warmth, and abundant humor in each Dorham solo, but once again it arises from what the man does with the materials at hand and not from a musical persona that takes itself overly seriously. Above all I hear a vulnerability in Dorham's work that not only touches a universal emotional core but more often than not sets off the triumph of each of his poignant creations.

If you've developed a Dorham habit, "Una Mas" is definitely one more to add to your collection. It's also a good place to start, but as the title suggests it won't do all by itself.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent bop date, great playing. 13 Oct 2003
By JetTone12 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Kenny Dorham is one of the more under-rated trumpet players in jazz. His technique, range and jazz sound are quite impressive, yet he doesn't get mentioned as often as Miles, Dizzy, Clifford, Freddie Hubbard, or even Lee Morgan. Kenny is probably most famous for his tune "Blue Bossa" (which has been run into the ground by high school jazz bands everywhere in both combo and big band format). That is not his best work. This, in my opinion, is. Kenny plays with a great group full of stars: Joe Henderson on tenor saxophone, Herbie Hancock on piano, Butch Warren on bass and Tony Williams on drums. Herbie provides an extremely solid anchor to the band as well as creative force, and Tony Williams provides a lot of energy in the rhythm section. Kenny is at his best here, playing interesting and technically challenging lines throughout and still making them fit well with the chord. Henderson is still young on this recording, but he nevertheless plays extremely well and holds up well with Dorham. "Una Mas" is an instant classic, it's hard to believe this one was not one of the overplayed classic jazz tunes like "Chameleon", "Sidewinder", "Red Clay", "Cantaloupe Island", "Watermelon Man", etc. became. They also experiment with the beautiful latin rhythms on "Sao Paulo", a tune about one of Brazil's cities. Kenny plays very well here, playing another long, strong solo. There is also a tasty "If Ever I Would Leave You", which is from the musical Camelot. A sensitive ballad, Kenny plays this one with the appropriate musicality. "Straight Ahead" is interesting to hear because it is a one-note tune, just the same note played over and over in evolving rhythms. This one honestly took a little while to grow on me but it's an excellent bop tune. All in all, this album is a wonderful piece of work, and it's great to hear Herbie and Joe Henderson and Tony Williams still in their formative years.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A groundbreaking CD 13 Feb 2000
By Will Flannery - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
When this recording was first released as an LP, the tune "Una Mas" occupied the entired first side of the LP. A first? It marks the beginning of Joe Henderson's recording career, and also catches Herbie Hancock and Anthony Williams at very near the beginnings of their careers. And the tune "Una Mas" is (probably) the first recording of 'Latin funk jazz'. A short while after this recording, Lee Morgan headed a date for the same label, using many of the same players including Joe Henderson, and including a tune that sounds remarkably like "Una Mas", and came up with "Sidewinder", which became one of the biggest selling jazz records of all time.
There is a lot to like about "Una Mas". First is the funky latin groove. Then, there is the very catchy tune itself. And then there is the stellar quality of the soloists. KD was one of the great, if unhearded, trumpet players of the bebop era, and what distinguishes his playing is its lyricism. He plays a catchy style, with whoops and growls and trills, all in the service of stong lines that pull the listener along. Both he and Henderson play many choruses on the title cut. This is Joe Henderson's first recorded solo. What's amazing is that it is a perfect solo, fully developed, melodic, so good it couldn't possibly be improved. One of the things about Henderson's playing is its sophistication, and the sophistication is there from day one. It's like he was born with a suit, tie, and a saxophone, fully formed, ready to go, no need for any time consuming 'maturation'. This CD also represents the recording debut of Anthony Williams, who was seventeen when it was recorded. It is also one of the very early recordings of Herbie Hancock. They didn't become great, they started great.
Some of the best jazz is also some of the most accessible, as in this instance.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Una Mas - a must! 24 Dec 1999
By yairsp@zahav.net.il - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Now, this is a classic Blue Note Album. Since I have it I can do nothing but playing that great record again and again. It's Swinging like hell and it's got a hot latin groove. Add all this to the fine players playing the gig (the dizzy-inspired Kenny Dorham, the groovy Hancock and the unknown yet Joe Henderson) and you will understand why this is a classic. It's a pity Blue Note didn't release it since 1988. Una Mas - this cd is a must !
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Sound 14 Sep 2005
By Matthew B. Scott - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I think Kenny Dorham is one of the most underrated horn players of all time and for me, Una Mas proves it. Of all the many jazz recordings I own, this one constantly finds its way back to my CD-player time and time again. I can't speak for the quality of the recording versus the vinyl original, but if you're able to look beyond the lack of snap, crackle and pop missing on this album you'll hear some very, very fine horn playing that merits rank among the greats.
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