Kenny Dorham   Afro-Cuban
Release Date: 1955

 Ratings (7) Give your Rating

3.5 greatRoundOnEndHiInMiddle | April 13th 17

It's certainly not the most pure Afro-Cuban jazz out there (hell, the last half of the album has nothing to do with it), but I'd be lying if I said Afro-Cuban didn't get me moving, even if it's not as fast or loud as other works in the style. The first half of the album is truly excellent, and features a beautiful mix of Afro-Cuban and hard bop, with the often rambunctious Art Blakey acting as a subtle steadying hand, and Kenny Dorham himself blowing some pretty groovy lines. The ineffable congas on the record are manned by Carlos "Potato" Valdes, and the appearance of one J.J. Johnson on the trombone is both a surprising and enjoyable investment. The last three tracks are pretty much hard bop played straight, and while those are pretty nice, they don't fit the first half that much at all. This shift in flow and style is what keeps the record from reaching higher, and one can only dream that in another time and place some Afro-Cuban flavor was added to those final three. It's really good, but it could've been truly great. That first half is undeniable though, that much is beyond dispute.


4.5 superbSandwichBubble | August 13th 16
3.0 goodHenchmanOfSanta | October 22nd 14
5.0 classicLordePots | April 9th 14
2.0 poorsickpriest | March 7th 14
4.5 superbFellow | February 20th 12
5.0 classicRawPower94 | January 16th 12

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