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One of the most pleasant events in recent New York jazz history was the return of singer-pianist Bob Dorough, who performs regularly for the Sunday brunch crowd at Iridium. Mavens and middle-aged cogniscenti know him as one of the great '50s and '60s hipster singer-songwriters, while those of a slightly younger generation know him for ABC-TV's Schoolhouse Rock from the '70s and '80s.
His latest Arbors release is a natural: a set of music during two of his appearances at the club. He already had been appearing for some time when these sessions were recorded, so the material, with more than a few originals, sounds relaxed and unforced.
On the Dorough-Ben Tucker penned "Comin' Home Baby," Roslyn Hart and Laura Amico comprise the Bobettes, providing background counterpoint to his singing. They also provide technical details for Dorough's Schoolhouse Rock tune "Electricity, Electricity." Ageless trumpeter Joe Wilder guests on "Sunday" and "Ain't No Spoofin'" and pianist-singer Daryl Sherman adds her voice and additional keyboard skills to "Without Rhyme or Reason."
The Sherman-Dorough pairing on the chanteuse's recent Arbor's effort, A Hundred Million Miracles , worked well and we again hear them paired here to good effect. Sherman's girlish sing-song lilt fits nicely with Dorough's semi-spoken drawl. They both share a pianist's sensibility to playing. Perhaps an entire album of their work together might be in order.
Dorough's quartet is first rate, with Steve Berger on guitar, Ed Ornowski on drums and Steve Gilmore on drums, but even more noteworthy is the leader's strong and steady work on piano. This is a fun album, giving you everything at home you'd find on a Sunday at Iridium... except the breakfast buffet. But then, you can't listen to him there in your bathrobe.
Track Listing: 1 Welcome from Bob 0:51;
2 You're the Dangerous Type 7:03;
3 But for Now 4:15;
4 Introducing the Band 0:39;
5 You're Looking at Me 5:21
6 Introducing Joe 0:26;
7 Sunday 4:34
8 Introducing the Bobettes 0:13;
9 Comin' Home Baby 3:51
10 Introducing Schoolhouse Rock 0:33;
11 Three Is a Magic Number 7:00;
12 Baby Used to Be 4:30;
13 How Could a Man Take Such a Fall 3:43;
14 Introducing Daryl Sherman 0:21;
15 Without Rhyme or Reason 6:04;
16 Down St. Thomas Way 5:13;
17 Ain't No Spoofin' 6:08;
18 Introducing Electricity, Electricity and the Bobettes 0:23;
19 Electricity Electricity 3:52;
20 Farewell from Bob 0:14;
21 We'll Be Together Again 4:34.
Personnel: Steve Berger: Guitar;
Bob Dorough: Piano, Vocals;
Steve Gilmore: Bass;
Ed Ornowski: Drums;
Daryl Sherman: Piano, Vocals;
Joe Wilder: Trumpet.
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.