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Sunday At Iridium

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Album Review

One of the delights for jazz fans going to New York City in 2004 was catching Bob Dorough during his regular Sunday brunch gig at Iridium. This intimate club is the perfect setting for an entertainer like Dorough, a superb bop stylist at the piano, who is also a charming singer and valuable composer to boot, all of which he has proved over a career that spanned around a half century at the time of these live recordings. With guitarist Steve Berger, bassist Steve Gilmore (on loan from Phil Woods while Dorough's regular was traveling overseas), and drummer Ed Ornowski, Dorough delves into standards, new material, and his own works (both old and new) with equal enthusiasm. While the pianist's originals are the obvious highlights of this CD, there are also surprises, such as a vocal version of Sonny Rollins' traditional calypso hit, retitled "Down St. Thomas Way" (with humorous lyrics by Ray Passman and Herb Wasserman). Trumpeter Joe Wilder sits in for a romp through the old swing tune "Sunday" and "Ain't No Spoofin'," while the delightful (and underrated) pianist and singer Daryl Sherman shares the bench and the vocals with the leader for his "Without Rhyme or Reason." Backing Dorough for two selections are the Bobettes, a pair of vocalists (Laura Amico and Roslyn Hart) who are also Broadway actresses and cabaret performers and who moonlight at the club on Sundays. They are present for two of his biggest hits, "Electricity" (first performed on the long-running ABC television series Schoolhouse Rock) and his decades-old hit "Comin' Home Baby." Also noteworthy is a more recent composition, the bittersweet "Baby Used to Be." This is easily one of Bob Dorough's best recordings and it is warmly recommended.


Born: 12 December 1923 in Cherry Hill, AR

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Although neglected and underexposed most of his life, Bob Dorough is an adventurous, risk-taking master of vocalese (the process of writing and singing lyrics to instrumental jazz solos) and scat singing who has directly or indirectly influenced Mark Murphy, Michael Franks, Mose Allison, and Kurt Elling. The Arkansas native started out on piano in the 1940s, then took up singing in the early '50s (when he played for boxer Sugar Ray Robinson, an entertainer at the time). From 1954-1955, Dorough lived...
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Sunday At Iridium, Bob Dorough
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