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August 2008

Connie Evingson
Little Did I Dream: Songs by Dave Frishberg
Minnehaha Music

That Dave Frishberg deserves to be counted alongside Cole Porter, Richard Rodgers, Irving Berlin and the Gershwins among the greatest songwriters of the past century is beyond question. But while just about every vocalist, from major to minor, has extensively mined the Porter, Rodgers, Berlin and Gershwin songbooks, comparatively few have done serious digging into the Frishberg catalog. Sure, there are plenty of versions of “Peel Me a Grape,” “You Are There” and “Wheelers and Dealers,” all fine songs, and all included here. But Evingson has taken a welcome step further by crafting an entire album of Frishberg tunes while getting her honoree to provide piano accompaniment.

Evingson’s innate, fetching Chris Connor-ness remains evident throughout, lending a slightly detached luster to the ballads. On the witty, upbeat numbers for which Frishberg is most famous—hip exercises in cunning wordplay like “My Attorney Bernie,” “I Wanna Be a Sideman” and “Zoot Walked In” (complete with opening narration by saxophonist and flautist Dave Karr, doing his best impression of an early ’60s Brylcreem pitchman)—that pensive Connor quality is enlivened by dazzling Jackie Kral-esque sparks, reaching its zenith on the penultimate track when Frishberg and Evingson get their Jackie & Roy groove on as they frolic together through “Snowbound.”

Originally published in August 2008
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