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Afro-Cuban
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Performer Notes
  • Personnel: Kenny Dorham (trumpet); Hank Mobley (tenor saxophone); Cecil Payne (baritone saxophone); Jay Jay Johnson (trombone); Horace Silver (piano); Oscar Pettiford, Percy Heath (bass); Art Blakey (drums); Carlos "Potato" Valdes (congas).
  • Producer: Alfred Lion.
  • Reissue producer: Michael Cuscuna.
  • Recorded at the Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, New Jersey on January 30 and March 29, 1955. Includes liner notes by Leonard Feather and Michael Cuscuna.
  • The late Kenny Dorham was a fairly unique figure in jazz, in that he played with Charlie Parker and Andrew Hill, representatives of both the original bebop school and with the Blue Note post-bop scene of the 1960s. AFRO-CUBAN, originally issued in 1955, is one of Dorham's finest albums, highlighting his skill as composer, bandleader, and, of course, trumpeter. Half the album is a melding of melodically imaginative bop and the African-based rhythms of Cuba and the Caribbean, while the remainder is more straight-up bebop. The playing is exemplary and fresh, as befitting a posse of players that includes Hank Mobley, Horace Silver, and Art Blakey in their younger days. The tunes, nearly all originals, are tight and trim--all killer, no filler.
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