In his original liner notes for this incredible 1963 session, George T. Simon discusses the music with Dave Brubeck in detail. Brubeck says, "Remember, everything has to be just right for every man in the group if the entire concert is really to come off." And it did. Originally released as Columbia [C2S 826], this 2-disc set is now available on CD. The quartet finds its groove on the first number and turns out a session where each man improvises freely throughout. Interaction, of course, came naturally to the close-knit group. The acoustics of Carnegie Hall served to provide a full, rich sound, while the wild applause makes you feel as if you were there.
Two full sets with a "Take Five" encore comprise a winning program. Our appetite for complex rhythms gets satisfied, both in the quartet's blues-tinged groove and through their compositions in 11/4, 9/8, 5/4 and alternating meters. "King for a Day" features bassist Gene Wright, and "Castilian Drums" features drummer Joe Morello. After the drummer's powerfully creative nine–minute solo, Brubeck places tongue in cheek and informs the audience, "We won't ask much of him on this [next] tune, because all I have to do is play in 9/8 time." This is timeless music from a classic ensemble. Goosebumps are guaranteed.
Track Listing: St. Louis Blues; Bossa Nova U.S.A.; For All We Know; Pennies From Heaven; Southern Scene (Briar Bush); Three to Get Ready (and Four to Go); Eleven-Four; It's a Raggy Waltz; King for a Day; Castilian Drums; Blue Rondo a la Turk; Take Five.
Personnel: Dave Brubeck- piano; Paul Desmond- alto saxophone; Eugene Wright- bass; Joe Morello- drums.
I love jazz because it is both challenging and exhilarating, and the endeavor of improvisation is the highest form of art.
I met so many great musicians--including my two earliest heroes, Maynard Ferguson and Dizzy Gillespie--by attending concerts
and being willing to treat them with the respect they deserve.
The best show I ever attended was the Pat Metheny/Ornette Coleman Song X concert at Cornell University.
The first jazz record I bought was an RCA compilation by Dizzy Gillespie.
My advice to new listeners is to not be afraid to listen to something because you're not familiar with the artists or the band or
the genre or anything - this is music that is best experienced through discovery.