Kenny Dorham Quintet: Kenny Dorham Quintet [Debut Records] (1953) 1993

Kenny Dorham Quintet 10''

Track list:

01. An Oscar For Oscar (tk 1)
02. Ruby, My Dear (tk 2)
03. Be My Love (tk 2)
04. Ruby, My Dear (tk 1)
05. Osmosis
06. I Love You
+bonus tracks (*not on 10″ LP)
07. Darn That Dream (tk 1)
08. Darn That Dream (tk 2)
+bonus tracks (*not on 12″ LP)
09. I Love You (tk 2)
10. Chicago Blues
11. Lonesome Lover Blues


Kenny Dorham – trumpet, vocals (#10,11)
Jimmy Heath – tenor sax, baritone sax
Walter Bishop – piano
Percy Heath – bass
Kenny Clarke – drums

#1-9: in NYC; December 15, 1953.
#10,11: sometime in 1953
Released: 1953
Label: Debut
#1-6: originally released as Debut DLP-9 (10-inch LP)
#7,8: originally released as extra tracks on OJC-113 (12-inch LP).
#9,10,11: previously unreleased

Digital re-mastered (1993) by: Phil De Lancie

Photography: Bob Parent


Kenny Dorham Quintet is a jazz studio album by Kenny Dorham.

It was his debut album as a leader.

It was released in 1953 under the Debut label as DLP-9 and originally included only the first six tracks.

Tracks 7 and 8 were released as bonus tracks on 12-inch LP OJC-113, whilst the CD release featured the previously unreleased tracks 9, 10 and 11.

According to the liner notes on the CD back cover “Label head Charles Mingus decided not to release them at the time and they languished in the tape vault for almost 40 years, until their fortuitous discovery in late 1992”.


Debut Records

Artist-operated jazz label with Mingus & Roach

DEBUT RECORDS was founded in 1952 by Charles Mingus, his wife Celia and Max Roach. The label was an experiment and an attempt to avoid the compromises of working for major companies. It was the first reasonably long-lived artist-operated jazz label of the 1950s.

Charles Mingus
Photo: Bob Parent
Before the story ended in 1957 the recording activity of Debut led to more than 35 sessions, resulting in twelve 78s, two EPs, seventeen 10″ LPs and nine 12″ LPs.

The first LP album was a duo recording with Charles Mingus and pianist Spaulding Givens. The second was the famous Massey Hall recordings in 1953. Other highlights are considered to be the Kenny Dorham session; the first and second outlets of Thad Jones; the Miles Davis session and the Cafe Bohemia gig of the Charles Mingus Quintet.

In 1955-56 Charles Mingus and Max Roach had become established leaders and they were more involved with their musical careers than to operate a record company. So gradually the Debut label faltered. An additional reason was that the two partners also had differences about the way they would run the company.

Kept alive in Denmark

During the last years of the 1950s, the Debut catalogue kept alive in Denmark by Ole Vestegaard, who had leased the company´s catalogue from Charles Mingus. Later on Vestegaard started to produce recordings on his own. About these albums on the Danish Debut, see the Denmark page.

The American Debut was purchased by Fantasy Records in the early 1960s.

BOB PARENT was a New York-based photographer whose images appeared regulary in magazines such as Life and Downbeat, in books like “Jazz Is” by Nat Hentoff, and on album covers for labels as Prestige, Debut, Bethlehem and Savoy.

He spent countless nights in the dimly lit jazz clubs of Boston and New York, and developed ingenious ways to sidestep the use of flash in order to avoid disturbing performers. Bob Parent’s subjects also include sporting events, theater, politicians and New York and Boston city life.