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Bob Dorough: Small Day Tomorrow

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At 83, vocalist-pianist-songwriter Bob Dorough shows no signs of slowing down-especially on Small Day Tomorrow. This time around, Dorough pays tribute to fellow songwriter Fran Landesman, whom he met in St. Louis in 1960 at the famed Gaslight Square club, the Crystal Palace. Landesman, whose songwriting credentials include classics “Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most” and “The Ballad of the Sad Young Men,” began cowriting with Dorough, and the results were a finely tuned balance of her acidic, edgy wit and Dorough’s ability to fashion hip lyrics-and deliver them in his eccentric vocal style.

Thanks to British singer Jamie Cullum and his bassist Geoff Gascoyne, both dedicated Dorough fans, we now have this recording-Dorough’s tribute to Landesman and their songwriting collaboration. Gascoyne set up a 2005 tour of England for Dorough and took the opportunity to get the singer into the studio, backed by sax player Derek Nash, singer Trudy Kerr and Cullum’s drummer, Sebastian De Krom.

Dorough delivers stylish takes on six tunes he wrote with Landesman, including the title cut, “Marilyn, Queen of Lies,” and “Never Had the Blues at All.” He rounds out the program with versions of other Landesman classics. For Dorough fans, this is a small treasure-and a loving tribute to Landesman’s talent as well.