Bob Dorough Eulalia (Merry Lane Records ML-0090)

Any new CD from Bob Dorough is a delight, and it's a real privilege to still have him making records for us in his 91st year. In the case of his family name, Dorough is noted for collaborations with Blossom Dearie, Miles Davis (and he's one of the few singers ever to work with Miles) and, yes, honestly, Sesame Street. His first album, Devil May Care , appeared almost 60 years ago, but the years have remarkably little effect on this idiosyncratic jewel of an artist. On the cover of his 1956 debut LP he stared out at us, an angry young man. Now I look like an affable old gent. But the voice is virtually unchanged - perhaps a little mellower, but still insouciant, raspy, confiding ... amusing and amused. His piano playing is, if anything, more fluent, agreeable and adroit. And his writing and knack for sardonic observation are as sharp as ever.

Love (Webster's Dictionary) , written with guest lyricists Dan Greenburg and Monty Ghertler, is a stand-out track . It is a witty deconstruction of every love song you've ever heard - consist largely of verbatim definitions of the word 'love' as lifted from the ubiquitous American dictionary. ("Antonym: 'hate'.") It is set to Dorough's deceptively simple-sounding tune, a cunning Latin construction which calls to mind a modern version of Jelly Roll Morton's miniature masterpieces. Dorough's nimble piano here is an ever-flowing source of rhythm and variation, inserting bright commentary while unfurling the bass foundations of the piece with the left hand. Ray Wilson plays superb, carefully calculated guitar to illuminate things.

Woods is also outstandingly gorgeous on To Be or Not to Bop , words and music by Dorough. The melding of droll, articulate lyrics and bebop here are a reminder that this is the man who ingeniously set words to Yardbird Suite over half a century ago. Eulalia Reprise

Aralee Dorough (first chair flute in the Houston Symphony Orchestra, no less). The virtuosic interplay between father and daughter here is a delicate marvel, assisted by the gentle, near-subliminal drumming of Herman Matthews .

The other top contributors to this fabulous little album are Keith Vivens on electric bass, Mike Mizma on vibes and tambourine and Tammie Bradley on vocals.


Eulalia merits your attention.

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