There is plenty of diversity on this prime Dave Frishberg set. Four songs (including vocal versions of "Truckin'" and "&The Underdog") match Frishberg's piano with trombonist Bob Brookmeyer, tenor saxophonist Al Cohn, bassist Jim Hughart, and drummer Nick Ceroli. Frishberg takes "That Old Feeling," "You're a Lucky Guy" (which he sings), and "Cheerful Little Earful" as piano solos, and there are also three wonderful duets with Cohn. Only two of the ten songs were written by Frishberg, so the emphasis is on his talents as a pianist and singer rather than as a lyricist. Recommended.
In 1993 the Giants of Jazz label released a collection drawing upon seven different Verve albums by Anita O'Day (1919-2006), a skilled and at times somewhat formidable vocalist who had the kind of chops and temperament usually associated with trumpeters, drummers, and booking agents. Recorded in early December 1955, "Honeysuckle Rose" first appeared on the album This Is Anita; technically speaking, this track falls outside of this collection's stated timeframe of 1956-1962. "Stompin' at the Savoy" and "Don't Be That Way" come from Pick Yourself Up, an LP that took almost all of 1956 to create. "Star Eyes" as well as tracks one through seven were taken from Anita O'Day Sings the Winners, a 1958 release that found her backed by a somewhat slick orchestra under the direction of Russ Garcia. Anita O'Day seems to have spent a lot of time in the recording studios during April 1959; during that month she made a Cole Porter album with Billy May (cuts 13 through 21) and collaborated with Jimmy Giuffre on the Cool Heat album, from which "Hershey Bar" was extracted. During 1962 this stunning woman made an LP with Gene Harris and the Three Sounds (see track eight "Whisper Not") and teamed up with vibraphonist Cal Tjader on the marvelous Time for Two album, the source for her rendition of Dave Frishberg's pleasantly smutty opus, "Peel Me a Grape."
This excellent CD reissues the LP Brubeck Time plus half of Red Hot and Cool. One of the few early studio (as opposed to club) recordings by the early Dave Brubeck Quartet (this version has bassist Bob Bates and drummer Joe Dodge in addition to pianist Brubeck and altoist Paul Desmond), the fine unit performs nine standards plus three new compositions: "Stompin' for Mili," "Audrey" (dedicated to Audrey Hepburn) and Brubeck's classic, "The Duke."