Kenny Dorham

McKinley Howard (Kenny) Dorham was an American jazz composer, trumpeter, singer and performer who was born in Fairfield Texas. Dorham was a bebop musician. He was a member of the big bands of Dizzy Gillespie and Billy Eckstine as well as Lionel Hampton, Mercer Ellington, and the Charlie Parker quintet. He was also a founding member of the cooperative Jazz Messengers. He recorded with Thelonious and Sonny Rollins as a sideman, and replaced Clifford Brown after Brown’s passing in 1956 in the Max Roach Quintet. He also led his own bands, including the Jazz Prophets, which he formed shortly after Art Blakey assumed the Jazz Messengers’ name. You can hear the Jazz Prophets on the 1956 Blue Note live album Round About Midnight in Cafe Bohemia. Although Dorham’s talents are often praised by musicians and critics alike, he didn’t receive the same level of attention from jazz professionals as his peers. His name is now synonymous with “underrated” in the words of Gary Giddins. In his last years, Dorham was ill with kidney disease. He died from it. Text contributed by users is available under Creative Commons By–SA License. It may also be available under GNU FDL.

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