Bob Dogan Sings Ballads

Bob Dogan – Bob Dogan Sings Ballads

Bob Dogan – Vocals, Piano

Chicago is chockfull of wonderful pianists and awe-inspiring vocalists. Bob Dogan, amongst those in the know, is one of those great piano players who is full of creativity and brimming with chops. Seeing him play in his quartet at Ryan Schultz at Andy’s was a treat and then some. He’s a fantastic writer, and he’s more than able to tackle bebop at the most burning tempos, too. In short, he’s a complete pianist.

On his latest disc, he attempts an entirely new feat––singing. As the title of the CD suggests, the tempos don’t get too frisky, here. The focus here is mostly on well-known standard material, except for one that Dogan wrote, called, “From Me To You.”

The piano playing on this one is beautiful, as would be expected. Especially on the intros, solos and anywhere else that Dogan can fit something interesting in. The vocals remind me of Mose Allison. Not in tonal quality, but in the inflections, the little twists here and there, and the wink and a smile that you hear when he comes up on a clever lyric.

The arrangements here are sparse, even distractingly so. But for those who are looking for a late night, candlelit affair, it’d be hard to go wrong with Bob Dogan Sings Ballads.

By: paul abella

Chicago Cultural Center

Bob Dogan Quintet

Growing up near 63rd St. and Cottage Grove Ave., pianist Bob Dogan came under the influence of the crop of jazz greats who performed at the many flourishing clubs in the neighborhood (including the Pershing Hotel, where Ahmad Jamal famously held forth). Virtually all of those venues are gone now, but the infectious energy and outsize personality that lit them up lives on in Dogan’s playing. A fluent, two-handed threat, he combines bop school finesse with modern harmonies, still influenced by his onetime teacher, Jaki Byard. Boasting past ties with the likes of Maynard Ferguson and Sunday’s festival honoree, Ira Sullivan, he’s the best kind of old school musician: classic without being nostalgic.

Dogan, who sometimes sings, frequently writes. Today, he’ll perform a set of originals with a band of distinguished longtime associates: bass trumpeter Ryan Shultz, saxophonist Ron Dewar, and the rhythm team featured on his recent trio album, My Blues Roots, bassist Dan DeLorenzo and drummer Joe Adamik. As he demonstrates on the recording, Dogan draws uncommon warmth from the blues. Many of today’s music-school-trained prodigies would kill to have his touch.

Chicago Cultural Center

Preston Bradley Hall
Bob Dogan Quintet
12:30 – 1:30 pm

Bob Dogan With Buddy Rich London 1971


Very Alive at Ronnie Scott’s

BGO Records BGOCD 785

1. Moments Notice
2. Watson’s Walk
3. St Mark’s Square
4. Little Train
5. Milestones
6. The Words
7. Dancing Men
8. Just Buddy Rich

2.Love Story
3. In A Mellotone
4. Two Bass Hit
5. Buddy Rich Introduces
6. That’s Enough
7. Time Being
8. Buddy Rich Again

Buddy Rich – Drums
Pat LaBarbera, Don Englert – Tenor sax, soprano sax, flute
Brian A. Grivna – Alto sax, flute
Jimmy Mosher – Alto sax, soprano sax, flute
Joe Calo – Baritone sax, soprano sax, flute
Lin Biviano, Jeff Stout, Wayne Naus, John Deflon – Trumpets
Bruce Paulson, Tony DiMaggio – Trombones
John Leys – Bass trombone
paul Kondziela – Bass

I was lucky enough to be around when Buddy Rich formed his new big band in 1966 and brought it to Britain – at a time when big bands were not exactly a surefire way of making a profit. But Buddy was unique: a remarkable drummer who had played in such big bands as those led by Tommy Dorsey and Harry James, as well as performing in numerous small groups: notably on recordings organised by Norman Granz. He managed to keep his new big band together until 1974, and this double album was recorded at Ronnie Scott’s London club in 1971.

This album captures the sheer excitement of Buddy’s band in full flight before an enthusiastic audience. The sound quality (recording engineer: Bob Auger) is remarkably good for a recording in a comparatively cramped club, and it conveys the way that Rich’s drumming propelled the band forward with unstoppable power. The opening Moments Notice illustrates this to the full, with tightly-phrased ensembles plus dynamic solos from altoist Jimmy Mosher, trumpeter Jeff Stout, and tenorist Pat LaBarbera (who, along with trumpeter Liv Biviano and trombonist Bruce Paulson, is the most predominantly featured soloist here). The band was certainly an exciting unit but it is Buddy’s drums that catch the attention, for the major contribution they make to the music. He was in some ways an old-fashioned drummer, playing four-in-a-bar on the bass drum, but his accents are spot-on and his drum breaks are masterpieces of precision and sheer rightness.

The presence of John Coltrane’s Moments Notice illustrates another strength of the band: its readiness to take on contemporary themes like this and Miles Davis’s Milestones, as well as such show tunes as Superstar -= in which Buddy Rich exhibits his ability to play a thrusting jazz-rock rhythm. The band also features original compositions by Pat LaBarbera and Bill Holman, not forgetting older jazz classics like Duke Ellington’s In a Mellotone and the Dizzy Gillespie Two Bass Hit.

The only weak spot is the introduction of Buddy’s daughter, Kathy, doing her best at singing That’s Enough, although one doubts if she would have got a hearing if she hadn’t been related to the bandleader. But one can forgive such peccadilloes (Kathy’s track only lasts for two minutes, anyway) because her father was one of the greatest drummers in jazz. He is featured more in short breaks than in long drum solos but his dexterity and time-keeping are continuously impressive. Just sample his bass-drum work in Dancing Men. And when he finally does a long drum solo (in Time Being), his control of the drum kit is phenomenal. He also breaks in from time to time with his laconic introductions and ironic remarks. But it’s the music for which jazz fans should buy this double CD – especially as it is very reasonably priced.

Tony Augarde

Buddy Rich In London featuring Chicago Jazz Legend Bob Dogan

Editorial Reviews
Very Alive at Ronnie Scott’s is the European version of the 1972 U.S. single-LP called Buddy Rich in London . In England and in the rest of Europe it was released as a double album and that is reflected in this beautifully remastered double-CD by BGO. The 1972 lineup of Rich’s band featured arrangements by no less than Oliver Nelson and Herbie Phillips. The main soloist (beside the drummer himself) is saxophonist/flutist Pat La Barbera, with big contributions from trombonist Bruce Paulson, pianist Bob Dogan, and trumpeter Lin Biviano. Other bandmembers include saxophonists Joe Calo and Jimmy Mosher, master conguero Candido, and guitarist David Spinozza. “That’s Enough” is a lone vocal number for Kathy Rich and Michelle and Carlene Hendricks, and it’s a barn burner. Other highlights include “Dancing Men,” “Two Bass Hit,” “Little Train,” “Milestones,” and “In a Mellow Tone.” This baby is a smoker from start to finish. ~ Thom Jurek, Rovi All Music Guide

Dogwood Center

FREMONT – Pianist and composer Bob Dogan, considered by many to be a Chicago jazz treasure, and his band will play a local concert sure to delight West Michigan jazz lovers.

The Bob Dogan Trio will perform at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in the Black Box at Dogwood Center for the Performing Arts.

Dogan is one of the most revered and enigmatic players on the Chicago music scene, having been right at the roots of modern jazz.

Dogan has played and recorded with Buddy Rich, Maynard Ferguson, Glenn Miller, Louis Bellison, Gordon Brisker and many more. He has taught at Berkeley Jazz College in Boston. He is a regular jazz festival performer including the Chicago Jazz Festival.

The Bob Dogan Trio consists of Dogan on piano, Dan Delorenzo on bass and Joe Adamik on drums. The group’s latest CD is “My Blue Roots,” released this past fall.