Mood Maestro

By Pat Sherman
The sultry, Top 40 ballads of pianist and composer Burt Bacharach, 82, were likely oozing from a car stereo in the moments before many BellyUp Tavern headliners were conceived.

When he performs during a special Valentine's Day concert at the BellyUp, Bacharach will show today's tunesmiths how the Brill Building cats created music to grease passion's wheels.

Whether performing alone or collaborating with acts as diverse as Elvis Costello, Dionne Warwick and Dr. Dre, the mellifluent mood man and former Del Mar resident retains a coolness factor that is undeniable.

Though Bacharach's Grammy Award-winning hits (including Dusty Springfield's "The Look of Love," Dionne Warwick's "I Say A Little Prayer" and Tom Jones' "What's New Pussycat?") span five decades, younger audiences may know him better as the good sport in the film Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me.

Meryl Klemow of the BellyUp's marketing and promotions department says the word that fits the Burtmeister best is "enchanting."

"To have someone like him, who's very relevant today, is just a huge honor for us," Klemow says. "I think it's also a show that's cool for people of all ages, an example that music can span several generations."

An Evening with Burt Bacharach


Date: February 14
Venue: BellyUp Tavern, Solana Beach
Tickets: $95 advance; $100 door (seated show)
Info: 858.481.8140, bellyup.com

Burt by the numbers


Decades making music: 6
No. 1 songs: 9
Top 40 hits: 48
Total compositions: more than 500

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