Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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David Frishberg

  • Can't Take You Nowhere [Fantasy, 1987] B+

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Can't Take You Nowhere [Fantasy, 1987]
"You knock back the schnapps/You talk back to cops/You walk in the room and conversation stops," begins the album and title tune; "I owe it all to you," he tells his "attorney Bernie" to kick off side two. These are the things this jazzbo songwriter knows, and he knows them well enough to delight non-jazzbos with an interest in exotic subcultures. Nor will they turn down the jazzbo pianist's Ellington or Berlin. But that doesn't mean they'll buy his beliefs that Frank Loesser is a great American hero, Zoot Sims the essence of swing, and (L.A. trumpeter) Jack Sheldon "one of the most gifted of all jazz musicians," presumably because he gets work as an actor. Or forgive the ecology song he produces to demonstrate he's not a cafe-society cynic. B+