Kenny Dorham – Matador (Impex Numbered Vinyl LP)


180-gram vinyl

All-analog mastering from the original master tapes

“A classic among jazz connoisseurs.” — Allmusic

180-gram vinyl repressing of this 1962 album from the jazz great. Kenny Dorham’s Matador can safely claim the all too common distinction of being a classic among jazz connoisseurs while virtually unknown to the casual listener. Dorham is joined here by Jackie McLean, Bobby Timmons, Teddy Smith, and J.C. Moses, all of whom deliver outstanding performances.

More than anything, this session is perhaps best known for including a stunning version of McLean’s composition “Melody for Melonae,” used less than a month earlier on his groundbreaking Blue Note LP Let Freedom Ring. For this session, though, the tune is renamed “Melanie” and, if not better, this version at least rivals the take under McLean’s leadership.

For starters, the addition of another horn adds some tonal depth to the proceedings, a situation arguably lacking in the tune’s earlier recording. Also of note is what has to be Bobby Timmons’ most intense moment on record. One rarely has the opportunity to hear Timmons dig and scrape as hard as he does during this solo, and his barely audible vocal accompaniment (…a la Bud Powell) only helps to prove this point.


Side A:
1. El Matador
2. Melanie – Part 1
3. Melanie – Part 2
4. Melanie – Part 3
5. Smile
Side B:
1. Beautiful Love
2. Prelude
3. There Goes My Heart

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