449

Dave Brubeck: Brubeck In Wonderland

David Rickert By

Sign in to view read count
Dave Brubeck: Brubeck In Wonderland Brubeck recorded his most durable work with Time Out, which launched a series of successful albums by the stately jazzman for the Columbia label in 1959. However, his earlier works for the Fantasy label, which find him fully entrenched in the cool scene, are arguably more rewarding. Brubeck had not yet stumbled upon the gimmickry of the odd time signatures and tributes to foreign countries that dominated his '60s recordings. Instead, these early recordings feature a more ragged kind of daring, as the pianist imposes his skewed ideas of rhythm and meter to a program made largely of standards.

The bulk of the material on this compilation culls tracks from the series of albums that Brubeck recorded live at various colleges from Oberlin (Ohio) to the College of the Pacific (California). Brubeck is already monkeying with introductions and adding rhythmic displacement to the heads of tunes like "All the Things You Are that demonstrate that he's up to something a little more interesting than everyone else on the West Coast.

"Alice In Wonderland showcases the beginnings of Brubeck's penchant for beautiful melodies in unusual time signatures (in this case a relatively safe 3/4), a technique that became his bread and butter. These recordings also showcase a mature working quartet with saxophonist Paul Desmond, whose suave, elegant delivery was the perfect foil to Brubeck's choppy, aggressive comping. Sure the later Columbia records are more polished, but at this early date the quartet seems energized and invigorated by all the possibilities offered by the direction Brubeck was heading.

A couple of early tracks kick off the album and show what Brubeck was up to in his earliest recordings. Two tracks from the semi-famous octet sessions have the air of college compositions about them, yet are an interesting detour from the jazz being parlayed at the time. A trio track featuring Cal Tjader on vibes (and then switching to drums) features a bizarrely off-kilter head for "Lullaby in Rhythm and the playfulness of guys coming together to try out new ideas.

Track Listing: Playland at the Beach; Serenade Suite; Lullaby In Rhythm; Mam'Selle; Alice In Wonderland; Crazy Chris; The Way You Look Tonight; How High the Moon; Trolley Song; All the Things you Are; Laura; Stardust; Le Souk; Audrey.

Personnel: Dave Brubeck: piano; Paul Desmond: alto sax; David Van Kreidt: tenor sax; Bob Collins: baritone sax; Dick Collins: trumpet; Bill Smith: clarinet; Jack Weeks, Ron Crotty, Wyatt Ruther, Bob Bates: bass; Cal Tjader: drums, vibes; Lloyd Davis, Joe Dodge: drums.

Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: FiveFour | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


comments powered by Disqus

Shop

More Articles

Read This Is Beautiful Because We Are Beautiful People CD/LP/Track Review This Is Beautiful Because We Are Beautiful People
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: May 29, 2017
Read Nigerian Spirit CD/LP/Track Review Nigerian Spirit
by James Nadal
Published: May 29, 2017
Read The Colours Suite CD/LP/Track Review The Colours Suite
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 29, 2017
Read Les Liasons Dangereuses 1960 CD/LP/Track Review Les Liasons Dangereuses 1960
by Mark Corroto
Published: May 29, 2017
Read Chapter Five CD/LP/Track Review Chapter Five
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 28, 2017
Read The Hive CD/LP/Track Review The Hive
by Edward Blanco
Published: May 28, 2017
Read "Live at Nectar’s" CD/LP/Track Review Live at Nectar’s
by Joe Gatto
Published: May 14, 2017
Read "Wonders" CD/LP/Track Review Wonders
by Mark F. Turner
Published: August 12, 2016
Read "Taking Direction" CD/LP/Track Review Taking Direction
by Marithe Van der Aa
Published: April 4, 2017
Read "Duo" CD/LP/Track Review Duo
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 20, 2016
Read "Algorithmic Society" CD/LP/Track Review Algorithmic Society
by Jim Trageser
Published: October 23, 2016
Read "Invisible Hand" CD/LP/Track Review Invisible Hand
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 12, 2017

Why wait?

Support All About Jazz and we'll deliver exclusive content, hide ads, hide slide-outs, and provide read access to our future articles.

Buy it!