176

Bob Dorough: Sunday at Iridium

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
Bob Dorough: Sunday at Iridium If a singer doesn't have a great voice, he (or she) would be well-served by having a keen sense of humor. Singer/songwriter Bob Dorough doesn't have a great voice, but he has a good one, which he uses ingeniously, and as for the sense of humor—well, he once served for two years as music director for boxer Sugar Ray Robinson, and if that's not funny, I don't know what is. (Sugar Ray actually enjoyed a brief career as a singer/entertainer once his boxing skills had faded.) In any event, Dorough's many devoted fans don't attend his concerts expecting to hear Pavarotti, but rather some of the hippest and wittiest songs ever written. And Dorouogh always gives them what they crave.

Such is the case with Dorough's weekly gig at New York's Iridium Jazz Club, where he holds forth on Sunday afternoons and where his latest album for Arbors Records was taped. On the one hand, Dorough is as down-home and affable as his Arkansas roots would suggest (he's a member of the Arkansas Jazz Hall of Fame); on the other, he's as urbane and observant as, say, Cole Porter or Bobby Short.

Although Dorough's music is hard to describe, he reminds me of a musical equivalent of comedian George Carlin—invariably humorous, markedly perceptive and squarely on target. Millions of young people know him from his "other side," as music director/songwriter (1973-85) for ABC-TV's educational cartoon series Schoolhouse Rock, for which he helped make math, grammar, history, and science palatable to young viewers while winning Grammy and Emmy awards for his creaativity and vision.

Dorough reprises two of the songs from Schoolhouse Rock, "Three Is a Magic Number" and "Electricity, Electricity," on Sunday at Iridium (and here the remembrance is of Tom Lehrer), but almost everything else is ultra-hip, from Bobby Troup's "You're Looking at Me" to Curtis Stigers' "How Could a Man Take Such a Fall" and Dorough's own "You're the Dangerous Type," "Ain't No Spoofin'," "Baby Used to Be," and "Without Rhyme or Reason."

Dorough is ably supported throughout by guitarist Steve Berger, bassist Steve Gilmore, and drummer Ed Ornowski, with guest appearances by trumpeter Joe Wilder ("Ain't No Spoofin'," "Sunday"), vocalist Daryl Sherman ("Rhyme or Reason") and the Bobettes ("Comin' Home Baby," "Electricity"). Dorough's closing theme, "We'll Be Together Again," arrives far too soon. Not a great voice but a great singer/storyteller, still at the top of his game after more than half a century doing what he does best.


Track Listing: Welcome from Bob Dorough; You're the Dangerous Type; But for Now; Introducing the band; You're Looking at Me; Introducing Joe Wilder; Sunday; Introducing the Bobettes; Comin' Home Baby; Introducing Schoolhouse Rock; Three Is a Magic Number; Baby Used to Be; How Could a Man Take Such a Fall; Introducing Daryl Sherman; Without Rhyme or Reason; Down St. Thomas Way; Ain't No Spoofin'; Introducing Electricity, Electricity and the Bobettes; Farewell from Bob; We'll Be Together Again (69:59).

Personnel: Bob Dorough, piano, vocals; Steve Berger, guitar; Steve Gilmore, bass; Ed Ornowski, drums. The Bobettes (9, 19) -- Laura Amico, Roslyn Hart. Special guests -- Joe Wilder (7, 17), trumpet; Daryl Sherman (15), vocal, piano.

Title: Sunday at Iridium | Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Arbors Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Open Book CD/LP/Track Review Open Book
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 17, 2017
Read Stolen Moments CD/LP/Track Review Stolen Moments
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 17, 2017
Read Sonder CD/LP/Track Review Sonder
by Troy Dostert
Published: August 17, 2017
Read Putting Off Death CD/LP/Track Review Putting Off Death
by Glenn Astarita
Published: August 17, 2017
Read Albert Mangelsdorff And His Friends CD/LP/Track Review Albert Mangelsdorff And His Friends
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 16, 2017
Read Heaven On Their Minds CD/LP/Track Review Heaven On Their Minds
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: August 16, 2017
Read "Transparent Water" CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read "Ziljabu Nights - Live at Theater Gutersloh" CD/LP/Track Review Ziljabu Nights - Live at Theater Gutersloh
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 22, 2017
Read "Solstice" CD/LP/Track Review Solstice
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 3, 2016
Read "Big Wheel Live" CD/LP/Track Review Big Wheel Live
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 17, 2016
Read "Mask Dance" CD/LP/Track Review Mask Dance
by Ian Patterson
Published: May 3, 2017
Read "Swong" CD/LP/Track Review Swong
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 27, 2016

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.