It was my first visit to Colorado since Mother died (see “Colorado & Oklahoma: Some Downs, Some Ups”), even though my sister and one of my brothers still live there, not to mention the presence of Mydar Kroom in the mountains above Denver. I didn't get to see Mydar, even though the weather was superb throughout my eight-day stay. I did, however, see A.J. and Lew and their families.
I coasted down the hill leading to our house, quite fast, slowing down a bit in order to negotiate the driveway, which ascended – no mean feat. To the left, up the dirt driveway and into the front yard, hittin' the brakes and doin' a fast dismount, like in the movies, then dropping my bike and running in the front door. Mother liked me home before dark.
Yes, we recorded our Iridium brunch sets on Sunday, February 29 – and we’ll record again on Sunday, April 18. Once more, engineers from the famous studio called Nola's will be on hand to capture the sounds. For this second go-round, it’ll be me, Steve Berger, Steve Gilmore and Eddie Ornowski. Daryl Sherman will drop by for a duet on “Without Rhyme or Reason.” It’s all for a “Live at Iridium” CD that’ll soon be released on the Arbors Records label. This new disc will also include some February 29 tracks featuring our guest Joe Wilder on trumpet.
The closing weeks of 2003 have been exciting ones for me, starting with a six-day engagement (September 30-October 5) at the Jazz Bakery in Los Angeles. It’s always a challenge to play opposite (and with) Dave Frishberg. He’s such a brilliant pianist and a fantastic songwriter. Whenever we do our two-piano act, we always work in a few duets along with our individual mini-sets to fill out the evening.
In 1960, I packed all my belongings into the small car I owned (by this time, I'd already been living in Los Angeles for three years) and drove to St. Louis , a place I'd never before been. After a one-day stopover in Amarillo to see Mother and Dad, I arrived at last in St. Lo and made my way to what was more or less the local equivalent of "the Village,” the area known as Olive Street , since I had an address to locate there. Once I found it, I knocked (and knocked) on the door. At last, someone answered. That someone was the person I was seeking: Fran Landesman. She was a smallish lady with, it turned out, a tremendous brain. When I introduced myself, she seemed genuinely pleased. We didn’t visit for long that day, because she soon sent me to the address where I was to live. Later, I met her husband Jay Landesman and he showed me the Crystal Palace .
We’d anticipated a great time on April 22 at Bongo Billy’s in Salida , Colorado , out in the middle of the mountains. I’d arrived in the afternoon, having just left my mother two and one-half hours earlier at the Bear Creek/Sunbridge Care Center nestled in the Red Rocks on the mountain side of Denver . I’d played a lunchtime concert for the old folks there, as I’d done so many times before - lots of old songs you’d never dream of calling in hip circles – then arrived in Salida just in time to check into the Circle R Motel, gather up my gang and sashay over to the club for a sound check. I held forth for a couple of sets that night on the borrowed electric piano and we had a great time. (Mydar Kroom and Joe Lilly can provide you with a full report, if you’re interested.)
Early in 2002, the Bob Dorough Trio applied to the U.S. State Department and the Kennedy Center for appointment as touring Jazz Ambassadors. Although the application process is a complicated and detailed one, the trio (which also includes Steve Berger on guitar and Patrick O'Leary on bass) persevered. Out of a reported 88 applications, 33 trios were invited to audition and seven trios were ultimately picked for tours, with each slated to visit a series of foreign countries – at that point, still unannounced – for periods of 4-5 weeks.