Kenny Dorham (featuring Cecil Payne): La Villa


La Villa


Kenny Dorham (trumpet)


Afro-Cuban (Blue Note BLP 1535)

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Kenny Dorham (trumpet), Cecil Payne (baritone sax), Hank Mobley (tenor sax), Horace Silver (piano), Percy Heath (bass), Art Blakey (drums).

Composed by Kenny Dorham & Gigi Gryce


Recorded: Hackensack, NJ, January 30, 1955


Rating: 90/100 (learn more)

As time goes by, multi-reed specialist Cecil Payne is increasingly recognized as the foremost originator of the bebop style on the baritone saxophone. And rightly so: his bebop agility expanded the improvisatory possibilities on the instrument. In 1946 he played baritone in Roy Eldridge's band, which in turn led to his participation in some of the most influential bebop recordings with Dizzy Gillespie, including the classic "Cubano Be, Cubano Bop." From there, Payne worked with Woody Herman, Tadd Dameron, Coleman Hawkins, Count Basie, Illinois Jacquet, John Coltrane and many others.

Highlighted here on Kenny Dorham's "La Villa," a track from the mid-'50s, Payne flexes his baritone muscles among an all-star bop lineup. His solo statement near the end of the tune provides a powerful lift after already powerful solos by Dorham and Mobley. Note how Payne stumbles upon a brief line he likes (03:39-03:42) and masterfully weaves it into the remainder of his solo. A perfect example of using just the right amount of lyrical repetition.

Reviewer: Eric Novod

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