We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.

Singer-pianist-songwriter Bob Dorough’s first recording for a major jazz label in more than four decades is an unqualified triumph. A cult figure since his 1956 debut LP Devil May Care, the 73-year-old, Arkansas-born Dorough is best known for his contributions as musical director, composer, and performer to Schoolhouse Rock, the ABC cartoon series that has taught math, grammar, history, and science to several generations of kids. Right on My Way Home is Dorough’s masterpiece, a showcase for his irresistibly eccentric voice (a disarming blend of rustic charm and urban savvy) and buoyant piano playing, a hard-swinging conflation of stride, swing, and bebop traditions. Heading two small ensembles—a trio featuring his longtime collaborator, bassist Bill Takas, and a quartet sparked by burning saxophonist Joe Lovano—Dorough presents a characteristically offbeat program including some of his own compositions and a trilogy of tributes to legendary saxophonists Sidney Bechet, Johnny Hodges, and Charlie Parker, bracketed by a freewheeling “Moon River” and the quintessential ’50s underground ballad “Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most.” (Of the latter, Miles Davis, with whom Dorough recorded in 1962, once rasped, “You’re the only cat who can sing that damn song.”) There hasn’t been a hipper or happier recording by a jazz singer-instrumentalist since the heydays of Louis Armstrong and Fats Waller. Dig it.—Joel E. Siegel