Bob Dorough at Jazz at Kitano, with my friend and fellow Dorough fan Terry King, in August 2012. We were thrilled to meet him.
The great jazz singer, songwriter and pianist Bob Dorough passed away yesterday at 94. Perennially young and energetic, we thought he would go on forever. I saw him give a breezy, masterful performance at Jazz at Kitano four years ago, when he was 90. He sang and played like someone 30 years younger, with his pony tail and that patented Arkansas twang of his that, somehow, added to his hipster image. I interviewed him and reviewed the show for DownBeat. He will no doubt be best remembered for “Schoolhouse Rock,” for which he wrote and recorded many of the songs. But his great songbook also includes the immortal “Devil May Care,” “I’m Hip” (with Dave Frishberg), and “Nothing Like You Has Ever Been Seen Before.” He also holds the distinction of being one of the only vocalists ever to sing on a Miles Davis album (Sorcerer).
Bob Dorough meets Cecile McLorin Salvant at the 2015 Newport Jazz Festival (photo: AM).
In August 2015, I witnessed his first meeting with Cecile McLorin Salvant following her performance at the Newport Jazz Festival. He presented her with a folio of some of his songs that he thought she might like. She was thrilled and subsequently added “Devil May Care” and “Nothing Like You” to her repertoire.
“Nothing like him,” indeed.
London, Meader, Pramuk & Ross
Filed under Amy London, Annie Ross, Birdland, Bob Dorough, Darmon Meader, Downbeat, Dylan Pramuk, Holli Ross, Motema Records, Music Writing and Clips, Royal Bopsters
These cats sing their asses off! I’ll be telling their story in an article to be posted shortly at DownBeat.com. The new album, The Royal Bopsters Project features guest appearances by vocal jazz legends Jon Hendricks, Annie Ross (two-thirds of Lambert, Hendricks & Ross), Mark Murphy, Sheila Jordan and Bob Dorough. Can’t wait to hear them live at Birdland this week!
Filed under Amy London, Annie Ross, Birdland, Bob Dorough, Darmon Meader, Downbeat, Dylan Pramuk, Holli Ross, Jon Hendricks, Mark Murphy, Motema Records, Music Writing and Clips, Royal Bopsters
One goes to hear a 90-year-old jazz artist willing to make a few allowances. In the case of bebop singer/pianist/songwriter Bob Dorough, however, no allowances are necessary, as he proved in his Aug. 16 engagement at Jazz at Kitano. You can read my rave here.
Better than cats half his age – unbelievable. Goes to show you what talent, genes, and a positive attitude will get you. Review soon.