Dave Brubeck: On the Radio: Live 1956-57 & Brubeck
Dave Brubeck Quartet
Liam Noble Trio
Dave Brubeck occupies a unique spot in jazza living legend that has enjoyed both commercial success and critical acclaim (albeit meandering) throughout his nearly six-decade career. Brubeck, along with longtime sparring partner alto saxophonist Paul Desmond, were the one-two punch behind a quartet that constantly pushed boundaries (offbeat time signatures, simultaneous multiple keys) and played within them (progenitors of West Coast cool jazz) to the point where measured beauty and tone enveloped the listener. Though Brubeck was always avant-garde, the quartet was a hit for a reason. The rising tide of that success can be found on The Dave Brubeck Quartet Featuring Paul Desmond On The Radio: Live 1956-57. The 15-track disc showcases the band at two residences, the Basin Street Jazz Club in New York from February 1956 and The Blue Note in Chicago, March 1957. Brubeck tackles standards "Stardust" and "Gone with the Wind," as well as originals "In Your Own Sweet Way" and "Stompin' For Mili" (co-written with Desmond). The disc, featuring bassist Norman Bates and drummer Joe Dodgewho both would eventually be replaced by the end of 1957 prior to the landmark Time Outshows Brubeck and Desmond tinkering and exploring with their signature sound within their famously dynamic interplay. Joe Morello, who replaced Dodge on drums, joins the group for its stay at the Blue Note, found in the disc's final three songs.
That dynamic interplay between Brubeck and Desmond was never more apparent than on the bona fide hit "Take Five," which is even all the more remarkable in the hands of the Liam Noble Trio. On their disc of eponymous interpretations simply entitled Brubeck, Noble on piano propels the iconic jazz track into waters that even the master himself admits he hasn't charted with this material. This 11-song CD is stunning in its complexities squeezed from a trio tackling material written by and for a quartet. The missing counter to Noble, Dave Whitford's double bass and Dave Wickins' drums, is the alto sax of Desmond. This space is only glaring on "It's a Raggy Waltz," but is remarkably filled by Noble and Whitford on the classic "Blue Rondo a la Turk" and "La Paloma Azul". A fitting homage filled with abstraction and space in its approach to the apex of Brubeck's commercial catalogueone that is richer and more complex than some may suspect with just the cursory listen.
Tracks and Personnel
On The Radio: Live 1956-57
Tracks: Theme and Intro #1; Stardust; Gone With The Wind; Stompin' for Mili; Out of Nowhere; A Minor Thing; In Your Own Sweet Way; The Trolley Song; Intro and Theme #2; Love Walked In; Here Lies Love; All the Things You Are; Theme and Intro #3; I'm in Dancing Mood; The Song is You.
Personnel: Dave Brubeck: piano; Paul Desmond: alto sax; Norman Bates: bass; Joe Dodge: drums (tracks 1-12); Joe Morello: drums (tracks 13-15).
Tracks: Give A Little Whistle; It's A Raggy Waltz; In Your Own Sweet Way 1; Sixth Sense; Cassandra; Autumn In Washington Square; Take Five; La Paloma Azul; Three To Get Ready; Rising Sun; Blue Rondo A La Turk; In Your Own Sweet Way 2.
Personnel: Liam Noble: piano; Dave Whitford: double bass; Dave Wickins: drums and percussion