"There is enough ugliness in this world; I'm interested in beauty." - Tadd Dameron
Described by Dexter Gordon as the "romanticist" of the beboppers, pianist Dameron was the "definitive arranger/composer of the bop era" (Scott Janow) who wrote such standards as "Good Bait," "Our Delight," "Hot House," "Lady Bird," and "If You Could See Me Now". But as Victor Schermer notes on AllAboutJazz.com, although "Dameron's legacy was kept alive by his fellow musicians such as Benny Golson, Philly Joe Jones, Milt Jackson, Don Sickler, and Barry Harris, the renown he deserved by virtue of his contributions has eluded him to this day. Fame knocked at Dameron's door more than once, and then went away. 'Eden sank to grief.'"
Kenny Clarke was a regular member of Tadd Dameron's bands in 1947-1949, including the following original studio recordings (with the trumpet genius Fats Navarro) of many Dameron classics included in the Bohemia After Dark Project's repertoire. According to the Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD, these sessions are "one of the peaks of the bebop movement and one of the essential modern-jazz records."
July 1947 (Savoy): Tadd Dameron Sextet, with Fats Navarro (trumpet), Ernie Henry (Alto), Curley Russell (bass), Kenny Clarke (drums), Kay Penton (vocals)
September 1948 (Blue Note): Tadd Dameron Septet, with Wardell Gray, Fats Navarro, Allen Eager, Curley Russell, Kenny Clarke and Kenny Hagood (vocals)
January 1949 (Capitol): Tadd Dameron and his Orchestra, with Fats Navarro, Dexter Gordon, Kai Winding, Sahib Shihab (alto), Cecil Payne (baritone), Diego Iborra (bongos), Vidal Bolado (congas), Curley Russell, Kenny Clarke and Rae Pearl (vocals)
April 1949 (Capitol): Tadd Dameron Nonet, with Miles Davis, J.J. Johnson, Sahib Shihab (alto), Benjamin Lundy (tenor), Cecil Payne (baritone), John Collins (guitar), Curley Russell, Kenny Clarke, Kay Penton (vocals)