Picks and Pans Review: The Dave Frishberg Songbook Vol. Ii
Frishberg is a composer who has developed a wry counter-cool approach that kids its own pretensions along with the rest of society. The delicate Manhattan cabaret singer Blossom Dearie made famous his best known songs, Peel Me a Grape (originally written for the much more flamboyant Fran Jeffries) and I'm Hip. But Frishberg has shown himself to be a more than passable pianist. And he sings his own songs with a lot of the same charm Johnny Mercer and Hoagy Carmichael brought to their work. This album includes Dodger Blue, a Los Angeles sequel to another Frishberg favorite, Van tingle Mungo, whose lyrics consist entirely of major-league baseball players' names. There's also a tribute, Marilyn Monroe, the almost down-home Oklahoma Toad, the purposely cliché-ridden Blizzard of Lies and the wonderful Another Song About Paris: "Remember Notre Dame where we chatted with the hunchback/The dim café where we had to send the lunch back." Maurice Chevalier wouldn't have agreed, but Frishberg is like a Randy Newman who does a better job of camouflaging the nastier strains in his satire.
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