Bob Dorough – Too Much Coffee Man

Too Much Coffee ManToo Much Coffee Man
Bob Dorough
(Blue Note – 2000)
by Matthew S. Robinson

That voice? What is that voice?
That playful childish voice with its pinched vibrato and ejaculatory high notes?
I’t s Lolly the adverb guy!
It’s Rufus Xavier Sasparilla!
It’s Bob Dorough!

Decades after he woke up the children of the world with his covertly educational “Schoolhouse Rock” tunes, Mr. Dorough is back with a new cast of adult characters, including the titular caffeinated calm-fighter and his deceptive sidekick Marilyn, Queen of Lies.

Lest you think the new album is all fun and games, however, take a peak at the supporting roster. From Ray Drummond and Billy Hart to Phil Woods, Dorough’s new schoolhouse has some apt pupils and, if you listen carefully, offers some good lessons in both jazz and life. Wood’s Hart-broken solo breaks up the bouncy jitterbug of “I’ve Got Just About Everything” and Dorough’s solo piano give an after hours feel to the retrospective tribute “Yesterday, I Made You Breakfast.”

“Where Is The Song?” combines elements of Sesame Street favorite “What’s The Name Of That Song” with more mature standards like “Caravan,” “Steppin’ Out” and “Fly Me To The Moon.” “Love (Webster’s Definition)” could very well be the first of a new series of SHR tunes for older kids, taking them musically through the very definition of that most undefinable emotion. The greatest lessons, however, come in “Late In The Century” which closes the album with insightful blues. (Blue Note)

© 2001 M. S. Robinson, ARR