Dave Frishberg

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Dave Frishberg
Dave Frishberg.jpg
Dick Sheridan and Dave Frishberg
Background information
Birth name David Frishberg
Born (1933-03-23) March 23, 1933 (age 81)
Origin Saint Paul, Minnesota
Genres Bebop
Vocal jazz
Swing music
Instruments Piano
Vocals
Labels Arbors Records
Associated acts Eddie Condon

Dave Frishberg (born March 23, 1933) is an American jazz pianist, vocalist and composer born in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

Early years[edit]

Frishberg resisted learning classical piano as a boy, developing an interest in blues and boogie-woogie by listening to recordings by Pete Johnson and Jay McShann. As a teenager he played in the house band at the Flame in St. Paul where Art Tatum, Billie Holiday, and Johnny Hodges appeared. After graduating from the University of Minnesota as a journalism major in 1955, Frishberg spent two years in the Air Force.[1]

Career[edit]

In 1957, Frishberg moved to New York City,[2] where he played solo piano at the Duplex in Greenwich Village. He first became known for his work with Carmen McRae, Ben Webster, Gene Krupa, Bud Freeman, Eddie Condon, Al Cohn, and Zoot Sims. Later he was celebrated for writing and performing his own, frequently humorous, songs, including favorites "I'm Hip" (co-written with Bob Dorough), "Blizzard of Lies",[3] "My Attorney Bernie" (his most famous),[4] "Do You Miss New York," "Peel Me A Grape," "Quality Time," "Slappin' the Cakes on Me," and "Van Lingle Mungo," the lyrics of which entirely consist of the names of old-time baseball players.[5] Frishberg cites songwriter Frank Loesser as an influence,[6] and has said that Loesser's "Baby, It's Cold Outside", along with Willie Nelson's "Crazy", are songs he wished he had written.

Many of his songs have been performed by artists such as Blossom Dearie, Rosemary Clooney, Shirley Horn,[7] Anita O'Day, Michael Feinstein, Diana Krall, Stacey Kent, John Pizzarelli, and Mel Tormé.

Frishberg is also noted as having written the music and lyrics for "I'm Just a Bill," the song about the forlorn legislative writ in the ABC Schoolhouse Rock! series, which was subsequently transformed into the popular revue "Schoolhouse Rock Live". For "Schoolhouse Rock!," he also wrote and performed "Walkin' on Wall Street," a song that describes how the stock market works, and "$7.50 Once a Week," a song about saving and balancing a budget.

Select discography[edit]

As bandleader

As a soloist

  • By Himself (Arbors Records)

With Jim Goodwin

  • Double Play (Arbors Records)

With Rebecca Kilgore

  • The Starlit Hour (Arbors Records)
  • Not A Care In The World (Arbors Records)
  • Why Fight the Feeling: Songs By Frank Loesser (Arbors Records)

Personal[edit]

Frishberg currently lives in Portland, Oregon.[citation needed]

Further reading[edit]

  • Balliett, Whitney (1988). American Singers: 27 Portraits in Song. New York, Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-504610-2.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Don Berryman (November 27, 2005). "Dave Frishberg at the Jazz Bakery Nov 29 - Dec 4th". Jazz Police. 
  2. ^ Andrea Canter (March 13, 2006). "Getting Some Fun Out of Life and Music: Back in St. Paul With David Frishberg". Jazz Police. 
  3. ^ Mike Joyce (July 24, 1989). "Dave Frishberg". The Washington Post. 
  4. ^ Stephen Holden (October 19, 2006). "Her Voice, His Tender, Cruel Songs". The New York Times. 
  5. ^ "Dave Frishberg's Personal, Peculiar Compositions Songs of Himself". San Jose Mercury News. July 1, 1994. 
  6. ^ Ketzel Levine (April 19, 2004). "Intersections: Reviving the Art of the Witty Lyric; Dave Frishberg's Deft, Wry Wording Recalls an Earlier Era". NPR. 
  7. ^ Steve Futterman (August 22, 2001). "The Inimitable Dave Frishberg". The Washington Post. 

External links[edit]