Not quite worthy of a true original.
Samuel Chell | Kenosha,, WI United States | 05/07/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I first discovered Bob Dorough when I heard his album, "Devil May Care," which he made for Bethlehem records in the middle 1950s (the title song was quickly picked up by Miles Davis and placed in the repertoire). It remains to this day one of my favorite albums, warm and witty, profoundly hip, raw enough around the edges to immediately deter many first-time listeners but an inexhaustible treasure to any listener who loves an unadorned, unpretentious approach to melody and a direct route to the very heart of American popular song. Over 30 years later I caught Dorough live at Gregory's in Manhattan, where he was mostly being ignored by the clientele (with the exception of Jerry Stiller and Ann Meara, both of whom seemed to appreciate Dorough's extraordinary talent the more I pointed it out to them!). Unfortunately, none of the recorded efforts I've heard from Dorough made in the last 25 years captures the spirit of the man or the essence of his music. They're uneven, frequently distracting with performances that sound more "hep" than hip and treatments that sound contrived. But this man is an immensely gifted artist, a survivor like Shirley Horn and no less important despite his comparative neglect. If you can't find the early albums or catch him live (how I wish he could get a club date in Chicago or Milwaukee), his current recorded product will have to suffice."
Attention Schoolhouse Rockers...
Matthew P. | Washington, DC | 12/20/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"My Hero, Dorough... The voice that charmed Saturday morning ears is still alive and well. This straight-ahead jazz album is not more of the funky rock tunes from Schoolhouse Rock, but you will be moved in the same way by his voice and playful spirit. Bob Dorough has compiled some great songs on this album that reflect his character and musical ability. As he sings and plays jazz piano, he pays homage to some of the giants of jazz and he tickles the funny bone. To round out the album with a cathartic effect, he ends on a blue note singing Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most. But then, life is bittersweet too, n'est-ce pas? Last year, I had the pleasure of seeing the Bob Dorough trio performing some of these numbers. (And of course he also did a few Schoolhouse Rock sing-alongs at the end of each set.) Joining Dorough on this album are his old friends (bassist and right-hand man) Bill Takas and drummer Grady Tate. (Tate lent his distinctive voice to several of the Schoolhouse Rock tunes.) Also aboard are contemporary hard-working jazzmen like Christian McBride, Joe Lovano and Billy Hart. If this album resonates with you as it did with me, look for his earlier works too. Bob Dorough was active in the New York jazz scene in the 1950's and 1960's. Of special note are his collaborations with Miles Davis. Blue Xmas, a cynical and comical Bebop tune, is one of my favorites. Well, I could say tons more, but I'll leave you with a final thought. Darn, that's the end."