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Dave Brubeck Quartet: Debut In The Netherlands 1958: The Lost Recordings

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Dave Brubeck Quartet: Debut In The Netherlands 1958: The Lost Recordings
For some people, the Dave Brubeck Quartet's catalogue starts with 1959's Time Out (Columbia) and ends with Time Further Out (Columbia) two years later. Verily, they know not what they are missing. The band was burning from 1951, when Brubeck and alto saxophonist Paul Desmond founded it, until 1967 and the breakup of the "classic" lineup. That lineup comprised Brubeck, Desmond, bassist Eugene Wright, who joined in early 1958, and drummer Joe Morello, who joined in late 1956, and it is the one heard on the live album Debut In The Netherlands 1958.

Either side of those time-signature-themed masterpieces, the quartet recorded other treasures, in the studio and live. Of the later live discs, the double album The Dave Brubeck Quartet At Carnegie Hall (Columbia, 1963) is a fans' must-have. Of the earlier ones, Jazz At Oberlin (Fantasy, 1953) and The Dave Brubeck Quartet In Europe (Columbia, 1958) are also essential.

Debut In The Netherlands 1958 is not essential, but it is better than good. It was recorded in November 1958, at the start of the group's second European tour (the aforementioned The Dave Brubeck Quartet In Europe was recorded in Copenhagen in March the same year during the first European tour, not long after Wright joined). Previously unreleased, the album was recorded by Radio Netherlands at Amsterdam's Concertgebouw. The sound is good, mastered by Frédéric D'Oria-Nicolas and Nicolas Thelliez.

The seventy-six minute performance is one of the last surviving recordings of the band before its post-Time Out concert repertoire changed forever. A mix of standards and originals, the prevailing mood is upbeat, kicking off with a spirited reading of Brubeck's "Two Park Contention" followed by jaunty covers of Jack Strachey's "These Foolish Things" and Frank Churchill's "Someday My Prince Will Come" (its use of ¾ time the closest the set gets to the group's imminent time travels).

The temperature is relatively chilled on Brubeck's "One Moment Worth Years" and Fred Coots' "For All We Know." Morello reheats things with "Watusi Drums," which is followed by Wright's brief feature, "The Wright Groove," and an all too brief performance of Brubeck's lovely "The Duke." Billy Strayhorn's "Take The A Train" is the closer; the track ends prematurely at 09:22 (the tape ran out), while Morello and Brubeck are trading fours, presumably just before the final theme statement.

The package is marred, just a little, by factual errors in the sleeve notes. These name Duke Ellington as the composer of "Take The A Train" and Brubeck as the composer of Time Out's "Take Five," when it was actually Desmond. And while we are bitching, "the success of Time Out" did not follow "a few months" after the Amsterdam concert, but over a year later. Small points perhaps, but unfortunate in such an otherwise well-curated release.

Track Listing

Two Part Contention; Someday My Prince Will Come; These Foolish Things; One Moment Worth Years; For All We Know; Watusi Drums; The Wright Groove; The Duke; Take The A Train.

Personnel

Album information

Title: Debut In The Netherlands 1958: The Lost Recordings | Year Released: 2023 | Record Label: The Lost Recordings


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