Kenny Dorham - Matador LP (Numbered, Limited to 5000, All-Analog Remaster by Chris Bellman, 180g)
2235 Fern Street
2235 Fern Street
San Diego CA 92104
Sometimes in the course of our exploration of potential titles to reissue, we come across a true gem that somehow escaped mainstream popularity. Our new all-analog HQ-180 of Matador by trumpeter Kenny Dorham and his quintet is the latest and perhaps most crystalline example of this. There has never been a single 180-gram pressing available. It has only been reissued (officially) once in 50 years. When you hear it, you'll scratch your head raw that this under-appreciated gem has been missing for so long.
Working with a soulful Jackie McLean on alto, a loose and swinging Bobby Timmons on piano, and the locked-in rhythm section of Teddy Smith on bass and J.C. Moses on drums, the playing is spontaneous, energetic and expressive. Check out the frenetic interplay between Timmons and Moses during the long trailing section of "Melanie".
"Dorham and McLean, two of jazz' most passionate and lyrical players, are in very good form here. Helped by a varied set of material and an energized Timmons, they have fashioned an album of surpassing interest." - Ira Gitler, Downbeat Magazine, April 1963
Recorded in a single day in 1962, Matador contains the sprawling epic McLean-penned "Melanie" (a suite in three parts), as well as Dorham's smoldering "El Matador" and a stirring take on "Beautiful Love". Throughout the session, Timmons, Smith, and Moses provide sublime support while Dorham and McLean trade sinewy solos. Emotional musical exploration ties to readily approachable post-bop structure that make for a snappy, yet heady, mix of tunes that put a tap in your foot while engaging your head and heart.
Chris Bellman cut Matador from the original analog master tape (one of the few that survived the Universal warehouse fire of 2008, lucky for us) and the sound is revelatory! Tight acoustics of the Soundmaker Studios provide tightened bass, crystal-clear drums and beautifully rounded tones from Dorham's and McLean's horns. This is another fine example of Impex Records cutting through the fat of modern music-making to reveal the very essence of the music and the giant talents who created it. We are elated to bring this sadly-neglected classic back for true believers to add to their collection and (maybe more importantly) to a whole new generation to discover for the first time.