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Dave Frishberg’s highly rated 1978 album swings, with his vocals taking a back seat to Frishberg’s lively piano work. The first time on CD, this session features four quintet tracks, two duets with saxophonist Al Cohn and three solo piano pieces. Frishberg sings "Truckin’," "You’re a Lucky Guy" and "The Underdog." With tremolos and crisp, staccato walking bass lines, Frishberg derives his piano style from ragtime and melds it with bebop. Frishberg attended the University of Minnesota and worked in local jazz venues before moving to New York in 1957. He worked with Gene Krupa and later as a member of the Al Cohn, Zoot Sims Quintet. He’s been on the West Coast since the early ‘70s and has gained a reputation as singer, pianist, songwriter and philosopher through his songs. Just this past year Diana Krall revitalized his "Peel Me a Grape," much to our delight.
Written by Frishberg and Al Cohn, "The Underdog" contains an uplifting message for everyone. Including the line "sooner or later you know that every underdog will have his day," Frishberg’s lyric lasts forever. Here, it’s reinforced with a warm tenor saxophone interlude. The quintet is at its best on Frishberg’s instrumental number "Saratoga Hunch." This one contains lovely solo work from Bob Brookmeyer, Cohn, and Frishberg. Swinging from start to finish, You’re A Lucky Guy remains one beautiful session.
Track Listing: Truckin'; Travelin' All Alone; The Underdog; That Old Feeling; If Dreams Come True; You're A Lucky Guy; P-Town; I Surrender Dear; Saratoga Hunch; Cheerful Little Earful.
Personnel: Dave Frishberg- piano, vocals; Bob Brookmeyer- trombone; Al Cohn- tenor saxophone; Nick Ceroli- drums; Jim Hughart- bass.
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.