Is vocalist/pianist/composer Bob Dorough the Mose Allison of Cherry Hill, Arkansas or is Mose Allison the Bob Dorough of Tippo, Mississippi? The two are famously linked by geographic origin: the country South, time period: '50s to the present, and vocation: singing, songwriting jazzmen. The two also share timeless voices, full of Southern dry dust and humus. Jason Isbell wrote in "Outfit":
..."don't worry about losing your accent, a southern man tells better jokes."
And Dorough and Allison have taken that to heart for 60 years each. Dorough, the elder of the two, had a certain influence on Allison, who, at 85, has retired from performance. Dorough, now 89, shows little inclination to slow down, releasing Duets in support for the Celebration of the Arts (Delaware Water Gap Jazz Festival non- profit). Time has little diminished Dorough's faculties as he well demonstrates on these eleven original compositions. Bob Dorough is way more than his famous "Schoolhouse Rock."
Duets places Dorough in predictable and comfortable company. He sings his signature song, "Devil May Care" with the New York Voices, supplemented with Phil Woods' alto saxophone solo. The ensemble singing recalls the swing era as informed by be bop, swinging with a nosebleed momentum. Woods provided another solo on the breezy "Love Came On Stealthy Fingers" on which Heather Masse joins Dorough after coming into her on on her recent Lock My Heart (Red House, 2013). Dorough pushes the vocal envelope with Hammond B3 specialist Craig Lastelnik on "I'm Coming Home." He is in fine voice.
Dorough shares some clever vocalese with Manhattan Transfer's Janis Siegel on "Up Jumped A Bird" accented with Dave Liebman's looping soprano saxophone. Scat singing warfare breaks out demonstrating how the modern masters work. "Small Day Tomorrow" is the disc showstopper, featuring Vic Juris' dirty electric guitar while Dorough and Donna Antonow deliver the best duet on the disc. Dorough's Duets rings completely true in spirit, delivering a superb collection of his songs well played and sung. Bob Dorough is a treasure...our treasure.
Track Listing: Devil May Care; I’m Hip; I’ve Got Just About Everything I Need; Love
Came On Stealthy Fingers; The Song Of the Mourning Dove; Comin’ Home
Baby; Up Jumped A Bird; Small Day Tomorrow; I’m Waiting For Someone;
Sunshine Morning; There’s Never Been A Day.
Personnel: Bob Dorough: vocals; Phil Markowitz: piano (1, 3, 4, 6, 8, 9); Eric
Doney: piano (2, 10); Jesse Green: piano (6, 11); Bobby Avey: piano
(7); Tony Marino: bass (1, 4); Paul Rostock: bass (2, 3, 7); Evan
Gregor: bass (5, 8, 9, 10, 11); Bill Goodwin: drums (1, 3); Marko
Marcinko: drums (2, 4, 6, 7, 8, 10); Bill Washer: guitar (5, 6, 11);
Spencer Reed: guitar (6); Vic Juris: guitar: (8, 10); Phil Woods: alto
saxophone (1, 4); Aralee Dorough: flute (5); Rick Chamberlain:
trombone (5, 8, 10); Danny Cahn: trumpet (8, 10); Tom Hamilton: tenor
saxophone (8, 10); Nelson Hill: alto saxophone, flute (10); Jay
Rattman: baritone saxophone (10); Dave Leibman: soprano saxophone (7).
Ed Hudak: percussion (11). New York Voices: Darmon Meader, Peter
Eldrige; Kim Nazarian, Lauren Kinhan: vocals (1); Nellie McKay: vocals
(2); JD Walker: vocals (3); Heather Masse,: vocals (4, 6); Val Hawk:
vocals (5); Craig Lastelnik: Hammond B3, vocals (6); Janis Siegel:
vocals (7); Donna Antonow: vocals (8); Grace Kelly: vocals (9); Vicki
Doney: vocals (6, 10); Nancy Reed: vocals (11); June Thomas:vocals
Year Released: 2013
| Record Label: Self Produced
| Style: Vocal
I was first exposed to jazz circa 1973, when I met a fellow who ran Kappy's Record Store over near 10th Ave., on 42nd St. in NYC. We really clicked and when I told him I played piano and went to Music & Art HS, and had just started at City College of NY as a music major, he asked if I liked jazz...I said yes but I didn't know much about it, but that I did have sheet music for many popular 1920's through 1940's tunes by noted composers (Porter; Gershwins; Irving Berlin; Rodgers & Hammerstein/Hart; Jerome Kern; Lerner & Loewe; etc.) that my mother had sung beautifully starting in the 1940's including tons of famous show tunes, and I played many of those songs already
I was first exposed to jazz circa 1973, when I met a fellow who ran Kappy's Record Store over near 10th Ave., on 42nd St. in NYC. We really clicked and when I told him I played piano and went to Music & Art HS, and had just started at City College of NY as a music major, he asked if I liked jazz...I said yes but I didn't know much about it, but that I did have sheet music for many popular 1920's through 1940's tunes by noted composers (Porter; Gershwins; Irving Berlin; Rodgers & Hammerstein/Hart; Jerome Kern; Lerner & Loewe; etc.) that my mother had sung beautifully starting in the 1940's including tons of famous show tunes, and I played many of those songs already. SOOOO... he started me off LP's by Oscar Peterson, Art Tatum, Bud Powell, Errol Garner, Bill Evans, Monty Alexander, Charlie Byrd, and Dave Brubeck... does it get any better than that? ...No, it doesn't. I was hooked!!
I met and had a master class with the late music giant John Lewis, leader of the Modern Jazz Quartet! This was at CCNY in 1977. I was blessed! It was an incredible class... how could it have been anything else?!?!
The first jazz record I bought was...I bought numerous records from my friend at the record store, as mentioned above. He introduced me to nothing but music giants/legends! I think The Dave Brubeck Quartet, Greatest Hits, was actually the first one.
My advice to new listeners... study first--understand the rudiments--solfeggio, keys, scales, and basic chords. Read a book or take a class that includes the study of chord progressions, especially in jazz. It should ideally be a piano class so you can play multiple notes together. Have a good EAR or else it's not really worth it in my view...to become a musician, a good EAR for music is about as fundamental as breathing! Learn to read chord charts--i.e., lead sheets - wherein you play various voicings of the chords--major, minor, dominant 7th (alterations of these, you can learn over time - the basic chords are most important for starters), plus the melody, on the piano or keyboard. If you have to read the exact notes, then it's not the same as actually internalizing it & getting it all into your head. If you can do this, I think you're ready not only for listening to jazz, but understanding many concepts of it! Of course...anyone can listen to jazz... but I think it's so good to also have a grasp of it.