Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Dave Brubeck, Paul Desmond|
The Dave Brubeck Quartet: Featuring Paul Desmond, In Concert
Genres: Jazz, Pop
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Almost two for the price of one
MikeG | England | 06/20/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This selection is from two of the best Brubeck Quartet albums of the early 1950s - which for me means two of the best of Brubeck's many albums. Both were live concert recordings made at university colleges: the first four tracks are from the `Jazz at Oberlin' album, the remaining five from `Jazz at Pacific College'. They come from that formative phase when the quartet was building an audience for its music, and attracting more attention to jazz in general, among student audiences.
On "Perdido" and "The Way You Look Tonight" you can hear the excitement their inventive and utterly committed playing generated in the enthusiastic Oberlin audience. Desmond in particular plays like a man possessed and his solo on the latter track is one of his sharpest and most brilliantly sustained on record. He is more typically smooth and self-contained - but still flowing with ideas - on the ballads, "These Foolish Things" and "Stardust", also from the Oberlin concert. On the first of these, Brubeck springs one of his dramatic surprises, moving from a quietly lyrical opening to his solo into a more intense and anguished (or angry?) section before subsiding into the quiet mood he began with. It's one of his more unusual performances, contrasting with the open-hearted romanticism of his approach to "Stardust".
Those who are not put off by that kind of romanticism from a `jazz' group will recognise "For All We Know" - from the Pacific College concert - as a small masterpiece of inspired melodic invention. I've commented in more detail on this and other tracks in my Amazon review of the Pacific College album, so I'll say no more about them here, except that "All the Things You Are" is another Brubeck Quartet masterpiece featuring one of the pianist's very best solos.
Five stars for the music. However, in order to compile this generous selection from two classic albums, the producers have left out two of the original tracks - "How High the Moon" from Oberlin and "Laura" from Pacific College. The first is another exciting up-tempo performance (after a deceptively calm opening chorus); the second is a ballad feature for Brubeck, discreetly accompanied by bass and drums, and notable for a kind of impressionistic mood and style reminiscent of some of Debussy's piano pieces. Both tracks in their contrasting ways are worth having. So the prospective buyer has the kind of choice which `compilation' CDs face you with: whether to forego `completeness' for an apparent bargain or to buy the two separate albums. You can probably guess what my recommendation would be."
A music lover | New York | 02/02/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Tracks 1-4 were originally released on the album "Jazz at Oberlin" and tracks 5-9 were originally released on the album "Jazz at College of the Pacific." While this is a nice album in its own right, if you already have the aforementioned two albums, you don't need this one."