Bob Dorough: Back to School House Rock at Iridium - New York City Article
Bob Dorough: Back to School House Rock
At 93, singer, pianist, songwriter and raconteur Bob Dorough has led many lives: you might group him with Jon Hendricks, the late Oscar Brown, Jr., and his frequent collaborator Dave Frischberg as one of the few significant songwriters to write distinctly jazz-flavored words and music for jazz singers and musicians - most famously “Comin’ Home Baby” for Mel Torme, “I’ve Got Just About Everything” for Tony Bennett, and “I’m Hip” for Blossom Dearie.
Bob Dorough, “Back to School House Rock”
1650 Broadway, (212) 582-2121
Sunday, September 17
As a performer, he has released roughly 30 albums over the last 60 years, including five in this decade alone (among them Live at the Deer Head Inn, Eulalia, and But For Now, not to mention a memorable guest appearance with Royal Bopsters). And, most famously, he ranks as one of the very, very few vocalists invited by the legendary Miles Davis to join him for a legendary recording date, Yet also, to bald-headed gen-X-ers who grew up watching Saturday morning TV in the 1970s, he is the one who taught us all how to multiply and spell, via the remarkably hip lessons contained in his ingenious songs for Schoolhouse Rock. (Which was deliberately misnamed: ABC TV somehow figured that fewer kids would tune in if they titled it with the more accurate name of “Schoolhouse Bebop.”) It’s the latter identity that Mr. Dorough and his Trio will celebrate this Sunday at Iridium; with shows at 5:30 and 7:30, the club is obviously mindful that this is a school night. With Steve Berger, guitar & vocals, and Paul Rostock, bass. PS: It’s no small sign of Mr. Dorough’s continuing relevance that two of his songs, “Devil May Care” and “Nothing Like You” are sung by perhaps the greatest singer of her generation, Cécile McLorin Salvant, on her new album, Dreams and Daggers.
Author: Will Friedwald
Will Friedwald writes about music and popular culture for THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, VANITY FAIR and PLAYBOY magazine and reviews current shows for THE CITIVIEW NEW YORK. He also is the author of nine books, including the award-winning A BIOGRAPHICAL GUIDE TO THE GREAT JAZZ AND POP SINGERS, SINATRA: THE SONG IS YOU, STARDUST MELODIES, TONY BENNETT: THE GOOD LIFE, LOONEY TUNES & MERRIE MELODIES, and JAZZ SINGING. He has written over 600 liner notes for compact discs, received ten Grammy nominations, and appears frequently on television and other documentaries. He is also a consultant and curator for Apple Music.
SINATRA: THE SONG IS YOU - NEW REVISED EDITION (Chicago Review Press, May 2018)