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Dave Brubeck: Live From Vienna 1967

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Dave Brubeck: Live From Vienna 1967
Considered one of the foremost exponents of the cool jazz style—despite often generating intense block-chorded heat as a pianist—Dave Brubeck was also known to lead the finest quartet bands in the jazz world. Of the several groups he led throughout his career, the most successful version was his classic quartet from 1958 to 1968 comprised of saxophonist Paul Desmond, bassist Eugene Wright and drummer Joe Morello. In what was to be the band's last tour in Europe in 1967, this famed quartet suddenly became the Dave Brubeck Trio on November 12th in a performance at Vienna's famed Konzerthaus concert hall which Live from Vienna 1967 captures so well in the only recording of this trio ever made.

There was no accident or illness responsible for the unexpected change in format, it was simply due to Paul Desmond's unexpected good time out on the town in Hamburg after a gig on November 10th. When the band met at the airport on the 11th to board a plane to Vienna, Desmond missed the flight and the concert the following day. Brubeck's son Darius, stated that his father once said "The best concerts of the quartet took place when he was angry," and angry Brubeck was, at Desmond's absence that evening. The anger apparently spurred the pianist to action delivering a dynamic performance guiding the pared-down instrumentation, with spontaneous arrangements that produced bright and sturdy solos from each member of the trio.

The concert was uncharacteristically short, lasting less than an hour in which the group performed one original and five standards beginning with trumpeter W.C. Handy's composition "St. Louis Blues," a nine-minute burner with Brubeck playing his and Desmond's lead portions as he would on every piece throughout the evening. The leader was relaxed and playful on his own "One Moment Worth Years," perhaps foretelling what the experience that evening would turn out to be. The music stays tender and charming on the Mexican Folk tune "La Paloma Azul," (the Blue Pidgeon) and picks up quite nicely on the Churchill/Morey classic standard "Someday My Prince Will Come," and closes on a rousing and sizzling version of Strayhorn's "Take the A Train," with the crowd roaring their approval. Once again Dave Brubeck proved he was a giant in the music world performing with, or without a quartet.

Track Listing

St. Louis Blues; One Moment Worth Years; Swanee River; La Paloma Azul; Someday My Prince Will Come; Take The A Train.

Personnel

Dave Brubeck: piano; Eugene Wright: bass; Joe Morello: drums.

Album information

Title: Live From Vienna 1967 | Year Released: 2022 | Record Label: Brubeck Editions

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