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 Sunday, 29 November 2015
Dave Frishberg at the Jazz Bakery Nov 29 - Dec 4th PDF Print
Written by Don Berryman   
Sunday, 27 November 2005
Image Pinaist, songwriter-singer Dave Frishberg appears at the Jazz Bakery November 29th through December 4th.

Among the great jazz songwriters, Dave Frishberg is the wittiest, with humor and charm and a blending of great melodies and lyrics, his songs tell it like it is and poke fun without any mean spiritedness. Classics like “I Can't Take You Nowhere”, “Blizzard of Lies”, “I'm Hip” have charmed audiences for years. One early composition and Frishberg's first published song in 1962 was “Peel Me A Grape”, which has been recorded by Anita O'Day and Blossom Dearie among others and reached a much larger audience being record recently by Diana Krall. Dave says, “It's never been a personal favorite of mine. I think I've learned to write a lot better since then”.

Frishberg was born on March 23rd, 1933 in St. Paul, Minnesota. He graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in journalism, then served two years as a public affairs officer with the Air Force in Salt Lake City. In Utah, Frishberg began writing songs, moonlighting for a company that produced radio jingles for local businesses. After leaving the Air Force, he moved to New York in 1957.

Dave spent the years 1957-'71 in New York City, and the years 1972-1986 in Los Angeles before He settled in my present home in Portland, Oregon. During his years in NYC and LA, He got to play with just about all the best jazz players and studio musicians on both coasts. In an interview in JazzQuad magazine Dave is quoted as saying: “Two musicians stand out as special influences on me, and their influence was not limited to music alone. The first is Al Cohn, whose whole attitude toward life and music was a great inspiration to me. He was among the most complete and profound jazz artists I ever associated with, a close friend and a valuable person as well. The other musician is Jimmy Rowles, whom I met later when I moved to the West Coast”.


During 1962-'63 Frishberg played piano all over NYC with Ben Webster's quartet with engagements at The Village Vanguard, Birdland, Carnegie Hall, The Shalimar in Harlem, and the Half Note. Richard Davis was the bass player and the many drummers included Mel Lewis, Philly Joe Jones, Denzil Best, Elvin Jones, and Grady Tate.

He also played at the old Half Note on Hudson Street from 1962-1971, most often with Al Cohn and Zoot Sims. He shared the position as "house pianist" with Ross Tompkins and Roger Kellaway, and got to work in rhythm sections there with a lot of jazz greats, including Roy Eldridge, Bob Brookmeyer, Clark Terry, Phil Woods, and many others. Jimmy Rushing sang on weekends with the Cohn/Sims band, and in 1972, just before Frishberg left New York for California, He made an album with him, Cohn, Sims, Ray Nance and others on RCA Victor.

In 1971, he moved to Los Angeles, where he worked in film and television studios, spent a long stint with Herb Alpert, played occasionally in the big band of Bill Berry and began performing a cabaret-style act that combined superb jazz piano playing with highly sophisticated, witty songs delivered in an eccentric vocal style.

Catch Dace Frishberg at the Jazz Bakery, 3233 Helms Ave. Culver City, CA 90034. November 29th through December 4th.

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