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American Composer: The Wit & Wisdom of Dave Frishberg

Roseanna Vitro’s interview with the noted pianist, singer and songwriter

Dave Frishberg

My introduction to Dave Frishberg came in the late ’70s when I first heard Irene Kral and Alan Broadbent’s recording of “You Are There,” with lyrics by Dave Frishberg and music by Johnny Mandel. Soon thereafter, I had the opportunity to meet and spend time with Dave in New York. I was quite taken by him; he was a superior musician and poet. The title track on my first album was “Listen Here,” one of his most beautiful ballads. I became a lifelong fan, recording more of his works on subsequent records.

Dave Frishberg’s talent runs deep. He enjoys a singular place among vocal pianists. We can only say this about a handful of jazz’s greats; Nat Cole, Shirley Horn, and Diana Krall come to mind. Frishberg’s uniqueness draws from the marriage of his literary and musical interests. In spirit, he stands close to Hoagy Carmichael, crafting characters and narratives that breathe. He is a winning story teller, a humanist in a zoot suit.

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