BOB DOROUGH'S "Skabadabba" is a likable lightweight gently swinging jazz set with a predominantly upbeat feel.
Pianist Dorough sets down chunks of rhythm and sings and scats in a distinctively amusing voice on the opening pair of originals, the lively "I Want to Prove I Love You" and the livelier still "Bijou (I'm Crazy for You)." He sounds like a less laid-back Michael Franks.
One of the record's most enjoyable moments is a tongue-twisting "vocalese" cover version of Charlie Parker's intricately melodic "Au Privave," with Greg Hoffman's lyrics about learning to play from the jazz greats.
Side two opens with the album's centerpiece, a relaxed seven-minute take on the Vernon Duke-Ira Gershwin tune "I Can't Get Started," with Dorough nimbly scatting like a tap dancer after each verse. Bass player Bill Takas takes a fluid solo on the Gershwin and on his own Latinesque "Bon Cover."
Dorough is a democratic leader and producer; his own piano is just another element in the mix except for an occasional jaunty solo run. More often he steps aside to let trumpeter Lee Katzman and other sidemen take pleasant, if not remarkable, solos. The whole set has a clean, immediate sound, like a spontaneous session in Dorough's early '50s "blowing pad."
BOB DOROUGH --
"Skabadabba" (Pinnacle PNL-7781). Appearing Friday and Saturday at One Step Down.