Dave Frishberg has enjoyed a career remarkable for both its quality and its diversity. Long known as one of the outstanding pianists in jazz, Frishberg has also established himself as an internationally recognized composer and lyricist, as well as a solo performer with a loyal following.
Early in his career, during the 1960s, he was a busy pianist in New York City, playing regularly with major jazz artists of the time, including Ben Webster, Al Cohn, Zoot Sims, Carmen McRae, and Gene Krupa. In 1971 he moved to Los Angeles where he worked as a studio musician and stayed active in jazz circles. He has recorded with a diverse array of artists, including Manhattan Transfer, Jimmy Rushing, Bud Freeman, Bill Berry's L.A. Band, Susannah McCorkle, Kenny Davern, and Rebecca Kilgore.
Frishberg has become best known for writing and recording his own songs and performing them in prominent jazz and cabaret venues. His song credits include cult classics My Attorney Bernie, Van Lingle Mungo, Peel Me A Grape, I’m Hip, and You Are There. Four Frishberg albums have earned Grammy nominations for Best Jazz Vocal. Other artists who have recorded his songs include Susannah McCorkle, Rosemary Clooney, Michael Feinstein, Bette Midler, Diana Krall, Blossom Dearie, Carol Sloane, John Pizzarelli, Bob Dorough, Tony Bennett, Jamie Cullum, and Mel Torme. His songs, including the well-known I'm Just A Bill, appeared regularly on ABC's Schoolhouse Rock series.
Frishberg's current recordings are on the Arbors Jazz label. His latest Arbors CD is Retromania: Dave Frishberg at The Jazz Bakery. His earlier recordings are available on the Concord, Blue Note, and Fantasy labels. He makes his home in Portland, Oregon.
Composer’s Notes I don't think of myself as a jazz composer. "Jazz" is a loose label for the way I've always played the piano, so when I sing and play my songs I naturally give them a jazz flavor. But I'm not thinking about jazz when I write a song. I've written very little music for instruments; I don't think that way. I don't write for vocalists; I write for characters with a point of view, and often the character is myself, especially if I have to sing it. When I was a kid I planned to become a cartoonist, and I sometimes think that's how things worked out.
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