Dave Brubeck & Paul Desmond – At Wilshire Ebell (1953)

FrontCover1Dave Brubeck was a pioneer in the presentation of intimate concerts in colleges and universities and in the better small concert halls. The show at the Wilshire Ebell theatre, in Los Angeles, was one of the later, and probably one of Brubecks biggest personal triumphs to date.

It set high artistic standards mainly thanks to the college students (UCLA) who were aiming to bring good jazz groups to the creative atmosphere of the concert stage.

The event was recorded by Dick Bock. That year 1953, the Brubeck Quartet won both the Down Beat popularity poll, and the Down Beat critics poll. After this, he would soon become the most popular jazz artist since Benny Goodman. (promotion text)

The tune selection is rewarding, and Paul Desmond’s beautifully conceived and played solos are such a treat. Dave’s resoundiing playing and inspiration are wonderful and bass & drums are swingin’!

It’s great to hear this great group ‘live’ especially at this period – a great evening of memorable jazz by such marvelous artists. (by Bill Petersonon)


The red vinyl edition

One of the rarest of all early Dave Brubeck recordings, this Fantasy LP features pianist Brubeck, altoist Paul Desmond, bassist Ron Crotty and drummer Lloyd Davis in top form on six standards.

Although Brubeck would record most of this material again (including “Let’s Fall in Love,” “Stardust” and “All the Things You Are”), these versions are often quite a bit different than the more familiar recordings.

There was plenty of magical interplay to be heard during that era between Brubeck and Desmond, making this set worth an extensive search. (by Scott Yanow)


CD Front+Back Cover

Dave Brubeck (piano)
Ron Crotty (bass)
Lloyd Davis (drums)
Paul Desmond (saxophone)


01. I’ll Never Smile Again (Lowe) 7.55
02. Let’s Fall In Love (Arlen) 4.37
03. Stardust (Carmichael/Parrish) 6.33
04. All The Things You Are (Kern/Hammerstein) 6.54
05. Why Do I Love You (Kern) 2.44
06. Too Marvelous For Words (Whiting) 8.06
07. Blue Moon (Rodgers/Hart) 8.10
08. Let’s Fall In Love (Arlen) 7.13
09. Tea For Two (Youmans) 6.59
10. Jeepers Creepers (Warren) 7.26
11. My Heart Stood Still (Rodgers/Hart) 3.24

Tracks 1 to 6: Wilshire Ebell, Los Angeles, July 20, 1953
Tracks 7 to 10: Surf Club, Los Angeles, February 1953
Track 10: Black Hawk, San Francisco, September 1953
Track 11: Bill Bate’s home studio, Los Angeles, circa December 1953



Musicians Dave Brubeck and Paul Desmond

Paul Desmond & Dave Brubeck


Dave Brubeck Quartet – Live In London (1966)

FrontCover1Jazz pianist Dave Brubeck is best associated with Take Five, the classic track from the 1959 album, Time Out, though the song was composed by Brubeck’s partner and saxophonist Paul Desmond.

Listening to this November 1966 set, one walks away with the feeling that Brubeck is a generous person. Very often it is Desmond who is in the spotlight, maybe because he gets the melodic lines, but Brubeck does not shoulder his way in while bassist Eugene Wright gets to shine with drummer Joe Morello ably covering the bases.

Melodic and gently swinging are probably the terms that come to mind when describing Brubeck’s music and, by 1966, the quartet is a well-oiled machine with the performance coming across as effortless. The quartet might have had their biggest hit in 1959 but here, with a new album in the racks – 1966’s Time In – the group is still raring to go. Apart from their hit “single” and classics such as Take The A-Train, the set list included Forty Days and Softly, William, Softly, both featured on the Time In album.

Thanks to ricola for sharing this very good FM recording on the Dime site.

In response, this is what brimouse wrote: “I work with Dave Brubeck and the Brubeck Institute, and Dave wanted me to tell you all that he is perfectly fine with everybody trading his shows, but he wants me to download everything that goes up so he can hear it. You should have seen the look on his face when I played some of the stuff I have grabbed off of here. He is 87, but he still has the spirit and drive of a young man. Anyways, the purpose of this message is really to say ‘thanks’, and keep up the Brubeck, especially if you want Dave to hear it.”

Recorded live in London, Great Britain, November 1966
Very good FM broadcast.


Dave Brubeck (piano)
Paul Desmond (saxohone)
Joe Morello (drums)
Eugene Wright (bass)


Alternate front+back cover

01. Out Of Nowhere (Green/Heyman) 10.33
02. One Moment Worth Years (Brubeck) 6.34
03. I’m In A Dancing Mood (Goodhart/Hoffman/Sigler) 3.06
04. Three To Get Ready (Brubeck) 6.30
05. Cultural Exchange (Brubeck) 6.22
06. Forty Days (Brubeck) 7.09
07. Softly, William, Softly (Brubeck) 5.10
08. Tangerine (Mercer/Schertzinger) 9.54
09. Take Five (Desmond) 6.19
10. Take The A-Train (Strayhorn) 6.54



The Dave Brubeck Quartet – Brandenburg Gate Revisited (1963)

FrontCover1Four of the five selections on Brandenburg Gate: Revisited (1963) are new interpretations of Dave Brubeck (piano) classics scored by the pianist’s older sibling, Howard Brubeck, who is likewise the author of the “G Flat Theme,” which is offered here for the first time. By the time of this 1963 platter, the perpetually touring Dave Brubeck Quartet had played behind a few of the North America’s finest ensembles — commencing with a personal invitation extended by Robert Shaw and the San Diego Symphony in 1956. In fact, these expanded arrangements were actually done live before they were recorded in the studio. A similar fate befell material from Brubeck Plays Bernstein Plays Brubeck (1960), which was the Quartet’s earlier orchestral collaboration. “Brandenburg Gate” has been significantly expanded from the version heard on Jazz Impressions of Eurasia (1958). The selection has developed into a side-long suite that includes substantial emotive counterpoint connecting the moody and contemplative strings and the swinging melodic contributions of Paul Desmond (alto sax), Eugene Wright (bass), and Joe Morello (drums). The subtle tension and liberation that exists between the two arguably disparate aggregates prevent either from overpowering the other.

InTheStudioLikewise, spirited leads and improvisations from Brubeck and Desmond keep the elaborate piece agile and firmly rooted in jazz. “Summer Song” is given a stately update, reflecting the easygoing nature of the Jazz Impressions of the U.S.A. (1956) reading. Desmond once again reels off impressive lines that never detract from the tastefully understated string augmentation. The affective “In Your Own Sweet Way” has evolved from the piano solo that initially graced Brubeck Plays Brubeck (1956). The accompaniment is pronounced as it wafts beneath Brubeck’s spontaneous chord progressions and nimbly executed keyboarding. As previously mentioned, “G Flat Theme” is the only tune debuted on Brandenburg Gate: Revisited. What begins as dark and melancholy dissipates into a mid-tempo groove that drives both Brubeck and Desmond into some very interesting spaces as they quickly adapt their sound to the slightly noir, but highly memorable chorus. “Kathy’s Waltz” benefits from a more thorough examination, as compared to the Time Out (1959) rendering. There is a stately air present on this interpretation that remains conspicuously discreet on the more familiar outing. On the whole, of all the reworkings this one seems to be the most rewarding, especially as Desmond is backed with the lush full-bodied orchestra. (by Lindsay Planer)

Dave Brubeck (piano)
Paul Desmond (saxophone)
Joe Morello (drums)
Eugene Wright (bass)
unknown orchestra

01. Brandenburg Gate (D.Brubeck) 19.55
02. Summer Song (D.Brubeck) 6.26
03. In Your Own Sweet Way (D.Brubeck) 4.56
04. G. Flat Theme (H.Brubeck) 3.55
05. Kathy’s Waltz (D.Brubeck) 3.02




Dave Brubeck – A Dave Brubeck Christmas (1996)

FrontCover1A Dave Brubeck Christmas is a jazz album by Dave Brubeck, released in 1996 on Telarc Jazz Tone #83410.[3] It is a recording of solo piano pieces which were recorded at Ambient Recording Studio in Stamford, Connecticut on June 6th and 8th, 1996

Dave Brubeck covers a host of favorite carols on this solo outing. His chime-like “Joy to the World” and striding “Winter Wonderland” are treasures. His festive opening version of “Jingle Bells” contrasts with the weary version signaling the end of an evening’s festivities; anyone who has ever worked a holiday party will relate to it. His originals include the delightful “Run, Run, Run to Bethlehem” and the meditative “To Us Is Given.” This is a Christmas CD worth repeated hearings. (by Ken Dryden)

Dave BrubeckPersonnel:
Dave Brubeck (piano)

01. Homecoming Jingle Bells (Pierpont) 3.20
02. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town (Gillespie/Coots) 3.38
03. Joy To The World (Mason) 2.53
04. Away In A Manger (Traditional) 5.03
05. Winter Wonderland (Smith/Bernard) 4.19
06. O Little Town Of Bethlehem (Redner/Brooks) 5,34
07. What Child Is This? (Greensleeves) (Traditional) 3.27
08. To Us Is Given (Brubeck) 3.23
09. O Tannenbaum (Traditional) 3.35
10. Silent Night (Gruber) 4.53
11. Cantos Para Pedir Las Posadas (Traditional) 3.59
12. Run, Run, Run To Bethlehem (Brubeck) 3.48
13. Farewell Jingle Bells (Pierpont)
14. The Christmas Song (Torme/Wells) 4.28