The Second Disc

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All In Good Time: Final Brubeck Quartet Concert Arrives From Legacy

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Time has been very good to Dave Brubeck.  The legendary jazz pianist and composer, 90 years young,  has both a Kennedy Center Honor and Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award under his belt, and his 1959 Time Out remains one of the biggest-selling albums jazz of all time, not to mention the genre’s first million seller. Alto saxophonist Paul Desmond’s sinuous, sophisticated “Take Five” became a signature song for the Dave Brubeck Quartet and one of the most recognizable pieces of music, anywhere.  The Quartet followed Time Out with a number of “sequels” including Countdown: Time in Outer Space, Time Further Out, Time Changes and Time In.  But all good things must come to an end.  On December 26, 1967, Brubeck, Desmond, Joe Morello (drums) and Eugene Wright (bass) formally disbanded The Dave Brubeck Quartet with a performance in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  Though commercially unreleased for all of the years that ensued, Columbia and Legacy are finally making that crucial turning point in jazz available.  On November 1, The Last Time Out – December 26, 1967 arrived in stores, celebrating that one moment in time.

Speaking of time, was there ever a watershed year in jazz like 1959?  Brubeck’s Time Out was joined by Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue, Charles Mingus’ Mingus Ah Um, John Coltrane’s Giant Steps and Ornette Coleman’s The Shape of Jazz to Come!  Remarkably, the classic Brubeck Quartet lineup had solidified just a year or so prior to the release of the seminal LP, after a number of drummers and bassists had entered and exited.  Though Brubeck continues to lead a Quartet to this day, no unit has scaled quite the same heights as those four gentlemen did between 1958 and 1967.

Hit the jump for more on this exciting new addition to the Quartet catalogue!

1967 was a busy year for the Quartet.  The album Jackpot! was recorded live in Las Vegas (where else?) and featured such gambling-related tracks as “Ace in the Hole” and “Win a Few, Lose a Few.”  Bravo!  Brubeck! also arrived that year, chronicling the group’s successful tour of Mexico, in which they were joined by two Mexican guests, guitarist Benjamin “Chamin” Correa and bongo player Rabito Agueros.  “Frenesi,” “Poinciana,” “Besame Mucho” and even “La Bamba” were all given the distinct (and  often unusual) Quartet treatment on this Latin-themed set.  (A 1998 release, Buried Treasures, unveiled another ten performances from the Mexican tour, but these performances consisted of more familiar material, such as “You Go to My Head,” “Mr. Broadway,” “St. Louis Blues” and “Take Five,” of course.)

Brubeck made the decision to disband the Quartet a full year earlier, so the group spent 1967 building up to this final evening together.  Over two CDs and fifteen tracks, Their Last Time Out captures the Quartet in top, triumphant form on such classic standards as “St. Louis Blues,” “These Foolish Things,” “You Go To My Head,” “Someday My Prince Will Come,” and as the inevitable closing track, “Take Five.”  In an up-to-the-minute musical statement, the Quartet nodded to the Civil Rights movement with an impassioned performance of Wright’s “Set My People Free.”  Didier C. Deutsch and Russell Gloyd have produced the set, and Mark Wilder has remastered.  Richard Torres provides detailed new liner notes.

Their Last Time Out is available now from the fine folks at Columbia and Legacy.  You’ll find an order link just below! In addition, you might want to take time to check out PopMarket’s Complete Albums box sets for Paul Desmond’s solo recordings at RCA (available now) and The Dave Brubeck Quartet’s complete studio recordings (coming on November 11)!

The Dave Brubeck Quartet, December 26, 1967: Their Last Time Out (Columbia/Legacy, 2011)

Disc 1

  1. Introduction
  2. St. Louis Blues
  3. Three To Get Ready
  4. These Foolish Things
  5. Cielito Lindo
  6. La Paloma Azul
  7. Take The “A” Train
  8. Someday My Prince Will Come

Disc 2

  1. Intro to Band Members
  2. Swanee River
  3. I’m In A Dancing Mood
  4. You Go To My Head
  5. Set My People Free
  6. For Drummers Only
  7. Take Five

Written by Joe Marchese

November 3, 2011 at 14:08

Posted in Dave Brubeck, News, Reissues

One Response

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  1. 1959. Also one of the saddest years in jazz history. In that year came the deaths of two of the most beautiful artists of all time, Billie Holiday and Lester Young. Both might have survived as creative artists beyond the fusion devolution of the early 1970’s.


    November 4, 2011 at 08:51

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