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With a group sound as unique as any in the entire saga of jazz, the Dave Brubeck Quartet is also one of the most passionately admired of
musical ensembles. And during the quartet's peak years in the 1950s and 60s, that passion was translated into unprecedented sales. In a
rare case of having your cake and eating it as well, Brubeck and company stuck to their artistic ideals and were rewarded with massive
commercial success.

The band was -- on the surface -- the sum of quite different parts. Pianist and composer Dave Brubeck could be a flinty, self consciously dissonant stylist; in contrast, Paul Desmond possessed one of the most refined sounds that the alto saxophone has ever known. The classic rhythm team of bassist Gene Wright and drummer Joe Morello that came together in 1958 stirred up a swinging backdrop that could cushion Desmond's lyrical flights and buttress Brubeck's experiments with atypical time signatures. Put all together, and the result was jazz that was both cutting edge and comfortably accessible.

Although prolifically recorded both in the studio and in live performances, the Brubeck quartet never released haphazard albums. Each of the studio recordings collected here was carefully thought out, often with a thematic emphasis that united the material. Hence, titles including

Jazz Impressions of the U.S.A; Eurasia; and Japan; Dave Digs Disney; Gone With The Wind and Southern Scene (both containing songs referencing the American South); Plays Cole Porter: Anything Goes! and, of course, the wildly popular, Time Out, whose rhythmically uncommon performances featured the Desmond classic &contemporary hit single, "Take Five."

Throughout the entire collection we hear a musical unit whose balance ensured ensemble cohesion while inspiring indelible improvisations from Brubeck, Desmond & the increasingly idolized Morello. As these recordings elegantly state, the classic Dave Brubeck quartet was a band of its time that has gracefully become one for the ages.

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  • Seller location: Lower Hutt City, Wellington, NZ

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