Bob Dorough: Comin' Home Baby
Comin' Home Baby
Bob Dorough (vocals, piano)
Sunday at Iridium (Arbors 19305)
Bob Dorough (vocals, piano),
Steve Berger (guitar), Steve Gilmore (bass), Ed Ornowski (drums), and the Bobettes (Laura Amico & Roslyn Hart, vocals).
Composed by Ben Tucker & Bob Dorough.
Recorded: live at the Iridium, New York, February 28 and April 18, 2004
Rating: 93/100 (learn more)
"Comin' Home Baby" was first popularized by Herbie Mann's instrumental recording for Atlantic Records, with its composer Ben Tucker on bass. Tucker then got Dorough to write lyrics for it, and producer Nesuhi Ertegun convinced a reluctant Mel Tormé to record it for his first album on Atlantic. As Tormé wrote in his autobiography, "It was a minor-key blues tune with trite repetitious lyrics and an 'answer' pattern to be sung by the Cookies, a girl trio that had once worked for Ray Charles…. It was number 19 [on the Billboard charts] for two or three weeks, and then bye-bye 'Baby'."
While Tormé obviously felt he had "sold out" with "Comin' Home Baby," his overly harsh assessment is nonetheless a minority opinion. At the Iridium in 2004, Dorough's regular backup singing duo, the Bobettes, helped him create an infectious version. While the lyrics admittedly may not be among Dorough's best, the melody has always been a grabber. The seductive rhythm originally created by Tucker is sustained here initially by bass, piano and guitar. Dorough next engages in an unpretentious, well-delivered call-&-response recital of the lyrics with the Bobettes. After soulful solos by Dorough's piano and Steve Berger's guitar, Dorough and the Bobettes pick up pleasingly from where they left off. This is plain old hard-to-resist fun. No more, no less.
Reviewer: Scott Albin