In the 1960’s, Burt Bacharach, Hal David, and Dionne Warwick captured lighting in a bottle, crafting some of the most sophisticated pop music of all time, a small canon that defines American Music just as much as Stephen Foster, Scott Joplin, Duke Ellington, or George Gershwin.
Burt loved Dizzy Gillespie, studied with Darius Milhaud, and apprenticed with Marlene Dietrich. His melodies and harmonies combine high craft with that mysterious alchemy required to make a song a “hit.”
(In Dave Frishberg’s memoir, he describes studying the “Four Bs” while learning his songwriting craft: The Beatles, the Beach Boys, the Brazilians, and Bacharach. Frishberg is an excellent jazz pianist and a fabulous composer of humorous material; his most familiar song in pop culture is “I’m Just a Bill” from Schoolhouse Rock.)
It’s time to listen to Burt with fresh ears! We are going to do ten of his masterpieces “straight.” I have transcribed the original recordings and reduced all the sweetenings to piano, bass and drums. As I have been preparing for this project I keep admiring Hal David more and more. Hal David was definitely one of the greatest lyricists of all time.
Marcy Harriell is a versatile artist — like so many talented New Yorkers, her résumé makes one ask what she can’t do — but the skill set she brings to Bacharach is that of the grounded musical theatre pro. Who knows where this collaboration may take us? Join us New Years Eve for the first gig….In addition to a 10-song Bacharach set, I’ll be playing some jazz trio with Corcoran Holt and Vinnie Sperrazza.