Dave Brubeck: Jazz at the College of the Pacific, Vol. 2 (1953)
Before he took a predilection with odd time signatures to the bank, Dave Brubeck worked the college circuit, playing to packed audiences at places such as The College of the Pacific. Even at this early stage Brubeck showed a fascination with rhythmic invention which, when coupled with Paul Desmond’s feathery alto, produced an entirely listenable sound. Brubeck had not yet gained confidence as a composer, and thus the entire program consists of standards. However, Brubeck and company were always more exuberant in the live setting, and those only familiar with Take Five may be surprised at how the quartet virtually plows through these tunes. Joe Dodge in particular always fired up the kit live, dropping bombs in an obvious attempt to get the crowd going. Since many of these performances run over seven minutes, Desmond gets plenty of solo time, really digging into the changes while showing a sense of humor by injecting quotes from “Santa Claus is Coming To Town” into “Love Walked In”. At this point in time Brubeck was playing more rhythmically and forcefully than he ever would, and his Tatum meets Rachmaninoff style shows the origins of the exploratory work he would pursue later on. As the title shows, this is a sequel to a previous release, but is no less worthy (and actually a bit longer) than the original. Despite some minor recording flaws, this is prime early Brubeck and a real find.
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Track Listing: 1. Crazy Rhythm 2. Let's Fall In Love 3. Stardust 4. How High the Moon 5. The Way You Look Tonight 6. Love Walked In 7. Give A Little Whistle 8. I Found A New Baby.
Personnel: Dave Brubeck-piano; Paul Desmond-alto sax; Ron CRotty-bass; Joe Dodge-drums.