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  • Writer's pictureR’nR With Rylo

Spin #111 : Una Mas : Kenny Dorham


Wishing a very happy Mother's Day to all the Mums out there. Hopefully you find yourself some peace and quiet to do something that will calm the mind today. The kids woke up early and we whipped up some pancakes for Night Kat Kiz, to go with her morning cuppa and they turned out really nice. I thought it was about time that we placed another fine record from Blue Note on our turntable. I find myself craving calmness lately and I do find some of these latest classic and tone poet editions from Blue Note as the perfect remedy. I've selected an album that I feel should be in everyone's collection - Kenny Dorham's 'Una Mas'. McKinley Howard Dorham was a very talented Jazz Trumpeter and Composer who sadly passed away too soon. If you get a chance after listening to this record, make sure you check out 'Whistle Stop' and 'Trompeta Toccata'.

There are quite a few trumpeters out there who received more recognition than Dorham. Tell me if you know most of these names: Miles Davis, Louis Armstrong, Fats Navarro, Don Cherry, Blue Mitchell, Donald Byrd, Lee Morgan, Chet Baker, Freddie Hubbard, Clifford Brown and Dizzy Gillespie. Dorham was incredibly talented and I do find myself coming back to his albums. There is a certain smoothness and catchiness that clicks for me. He has also teamed up with supremely talented artists: Joe Henderson, Butch Warren, Anthony Williams and Herbie Hancock. Another thing I like about this album is the iconic front artwork and something to read along with on the back as you listen to the music. I tried to change the MWSP this week by pixelating the album cover and letting you work it out without clues. Was it too hard? Maybe in the coming weeks you will recognise the album cover and it will be easier to solve.

Before I get into the album, I wanted to write about another core memory being made this week. I was sitting down at this very desk working from home earlier in the week and our 5 year old son was playing cafe in the hallway. I'd picked him up from school and he wanted to make me a coffee. I thought it would be lovely having a nice cuppa made by him while I worked (a pretend cuppa). I was handed play money in order to pay for the coffee, but the problem was the notes were all $100 green ones. I was given the coffee and charged $300 cash!! I reluctantly paid him and he responded that it had no sugar in it. If I wanted sugar, it would be another $400. A moment later he came out with a pretend eftpos machine and asked me to tap my card! I reminded him that I'd already paid with cash and he responded with, "You need to tap there also". After tapping the card three times (feeling as though I'd paid over $1000 for this cup of liquid gold) I told him that I wasn't happy. I said, "This is a rip off. Your boss is ripping me off". Our son responded, "Yeah, he is ripping me off too" and seemingly genuinely shocked himself. He then thought about it and proceeded to bring the cash back and place it all on the desk. I thought that we had finally settled the matter but he said, "your desk looks busy Dad, you can put all your money on this white table". I put all the pretend money on the white table and then he told me he'd be right back, as he also left with the white table and money!!!! Then a voice from the hallway yelled, "Cafe closed, we ran out of coffee and cakes". Cheeky little bugger.

It's time to drop the stylus on this album as I look at some the artwork coming home from school and day care. I remember hearing this Blue Note album and instantly having to add it to our collection. What does 'UNA MAS' mean? It means One More Time! The song takes up the entire Side A/1 and breezes by so quickly that you don't even realise 15 minutes has passed.

'STRAIGHT AHEAD' starts off with Anthony Williams behind the drum kit. At the time of making this album he was one of the bright up and coming talents on the Jazz scene. His abilities are described as fresh and didn't overpower the other players. You can easily hear Joe Henderson's Tenor Sax, Herbie Hancock's masterful piano playing and Butch Warren's bass. Dorham's compositions are enjoyable and you can hear the seemingly infectious energy coming through the record. The weather has been pretty ordinary for the last 2-3 weeks and our kids have had to make the most of the bad weather. This has lead to increase in their imagination and games to play indoors. During the week we made some paper airplanes and put on our safety glasses (or gallas as our daughter says). We then stand at opposite sides of the loungeroom (loungin) and say, "Don't Flinch" as we throw them at each other. It's like paper plane dodgeball. The kids loved it and hearing their little giggles instantly makes all the other crap leave our minds.

The last composition piece is called 'SAO PAULO' and has a softer sound to kick it off. It sounds as though you are at the theatre and someone is walking through the foggy streets of London. Dorham then comes through with his Trumpet and clears all of that fog away. I like the change of pace that this final track brings and feeling like we should do as they request and 'play the album one more time'. Our daughter this week has started talking even more and wanting hugs before bed. She was a cutie when watching her "Panfers" play. She kept saying, "I'm a cutie Daddy" and I had to agree with her.

Another busy week at work but grateful for where we are currently as a family. A Jazz album gives you time to reflect while it plays. There are no lyrics and you find yourself drifting away with your thoughts as the black wax spins around the turntable. Maybe that is another reason why I like spinning Jazz records. It gives me time to think and take a breath. I need to prepare for next month too because I will be attempting to push out over 3000 push ups to raise awareness for mental health and people struggling out there. Remember to reach out and seek help if you are doing it tough. There is always someone who will listen and point you in the right direction.

I highly recommend putting on any Jazz record that you own and letting it play while you make a cuppa or draw/paint something. Even staring out the window and watching the rain fall can provide calmness too. Hug your loved ones and appreciate the good things in your lives. I'm going to play cars with the kids now as they look like they are having fun with cardboard tubes and launching them down the tunnels.

Until our next Spin......

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