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Dave Frishberg At the Jazz Bakery - Retromania

Dave Frishberg

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Album Review

Fans of pianist/vocalist Dave Frishberg will be familiar with most of his originals heard on this live recording made at the Jazz Bakery, but his songs are like old friends who are always worth revisiting. An underappreciated pianist whose slightly nasal vocals are perfectly suited for his material, it is obvious that he has the attention of his audience, though they somehow manage to restrain themselves from outbursts of laughter, a nearly impossible feat when hearing Frishberg perform in person. "Can't Take You Nowhere" and "My Attorney Bernie" are hilarious romps, while his thoughtful lyric in "Zoot Walks In" (written to "The Red Door," which Zoot Sims jointly wrote with Gerry Mulligan) salutes the tenor saxophonist in an up-tempo setting. New material includes "Who Do You Think You Are, Jack Dempsey?" (which incorporates a good bit of stride piano, though with a modern touch), the amusing "Walkin' on Wall Street" (written for the old television series Schoolhouse Rock but never recorded by Frishberg), along with the touching ballad "Listen Here" (composed for a 1970s Mary Tyler Moore TV special, though this is his first recording of it). A number of his works are centered on baseball; both "Van Lingle Mungo" and "Dodger Blue" incorporate long lists of the names of baseball players into their lyrics. Several others were written for a never-produced musical called "The Catbird Seat." "Matty" is a sentimental tribute to Hall of Famer Christy Mathewson, a clutch pitcher who won 373 games and died in 1925, before the composer's birth. Frishberg's liner notes and occasional commentary to his audience help explain the background to many of these songs.


Born: 23 March 1933 in St. Paul, MN

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Arguably the top living lyricist, Dave Frishberg has written more than his share of witty (yet insightful) classicsm, including "I'm Hip," "Peel Me a Grape," "Dear Bix," "The Underdog," "Saratoga Hunch," "Slappin' the Cakes on Me," "Z's," "My Attorney Bernie," "Blizzard of Lies," "Another Song About Paris," "You Are There," "El Cajon," "Can't Take You Nowhere," and "Let's Eat Home." A fine swing pianist and a world-weary sounding vocalist, the multi-talented Frishberg moved to New York in 1957. He...
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Dave Frishberg At the Jazz Bakery - Retromania, Dave Frishberg
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