Judy Roberts: My Attorney Bernie


My Attorney Bernie


Judy Roberts (piano, vocals)


Circle Of Friends (Judy Roberts 1030)

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Judy Roberts (piano, vocals),

Greg Fishman (flute), Neal Seroka (guitar), Stewart Miller (bass), Greg Sergo (drums)


Composed by Dave Frishberg


Recorded: Chicago, 1995


Rating: 90/100 (learn more)

As performed by its composer and nearly everyone else, Dave Frishberg’s “My Attorney Bernie” is sung to a samba beat. However, my favorite recording of the song is by Judy Roberts, a delightful pianist/vocalist formerly from Chicago and now performing in Phoenix. Taken at a slow, sexy tempo, the arrangement starts with eight quarter notes on cowbell and a piano vamp (actually Frishberg’s introduction) which implies the sort of slow dance groove that Tito Puente used to play. But then, guitar and flute enter in quasi-double-time, adding the feel of samba. While these two Latin grooves have rarely—if ever—converged, they work very well together and the band locks into the groove immediately. Judy’s delivery of Frishberg’s song is light-hearted, relaxed and comic (especially on the line you keep on hangin’ tough), but she knows the importance of having a good lawyer in her corner, and we believe her when she tells us that she always does what Bernie recommends. The self-produced CD from which this track comes is a little hard to find, but is well worth acquiring, as it is one of Roberts’ finest efforts.

Reviewer: Thomas Cunniffe

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