Back when I was a lad in the late 1950s, I was listening to jazz radio station KNOB (“the jazz knob”) which broadcast out of Long Beach, California. The great Chuck Niles worked on that station, and what he didn’t know about jazz wasn’t worth knowing. As a neophyte, I drank in every word and followed his advice when it came to listening to, and buying, jazz records.
When he played the song “The Red Door” one afternoon, I connected with the music and decided I HAD to have that album. In those days it wasn’t always easy to find jazz albums, but after some calling around I finally found a music store (remember those?) that was willing to order the album for me. The title of that album was The Jazz Committee On Latin American Affairs and it featured Kenny Dorham, Zoot Sims, Al Cohn, Ray Mantilla, Ronnie Ball and Herbie Mann. The group was recorded live at the American Jazz Festival on 16th July 1961 in Rio De Janero in Brazil and the album released by FM Records. The title was a bow to the politics of the day.
I wore that album out, but never tired of it. You can’t say that about many records, then or now. The record wasn’t a giant seller, and before long it was out of pressing and unavailable. When my copy was nearing the end of it’s useful life, I went searching for a replacement, with no luck. It was with some surprise, and much delight when, about 30 years later, I was browsing a catalogue and spotted a listing for Hot Stuff From Brazil by Kenny Dorham. Could it be the same album? Yes. I bought the CD, which itself is now out of print, but can be found by the patient and resourceful. It may even be available through Rhapsody .
Here are the two album covers, then and now, though “now” is a decade ago. Apologies for the quality of the image on the left, I had to crib a low-res one off the ‘net.