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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Steve Arloff, Nick Barnard, Pierre Giroux, Don Mather, Glyn Pursglove, George Stacy, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf

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The Navy Swings

Sounds of Yester Year DSOY 830



1. Introduction: The Duke
2. Take the "A" Train
3. I'm in a Dancing Mood
4. St Louis Blues
5. Intro: The Duke
6. Gone with the Wind
7. For All We Know
8. Sounds of the Loop
9. Intro: The Duke
10. Someday My Prince will Come
11. In Your Own Sweet Way
12. Tangerine
13. Intro: The Duke
14. Watusi Drums
15. Thank You
16. Nomad

Dave Brubeck - Piano
Paul Desmond - Alto sax
Joe Benjamin - Bass
Joe Morello - Drums


These tracks were cut as recruiting aids for the US Navy; Brubeck had of course seen service with them. Each introductory track has the recruitment message dubbed over the top of it. This does not spoil the music however, and it was great to hear the original quartet in action.

Dave Brubeck has been one of the outstanding jazz musicians of the era. He is still running a band today and whilst the latest band bears no resemblance to the music we hear on this record, his style is still developing and becoming ever more complex some 53 years after this recording was made in 1958.

This version of the quartet is instantly recognisable, Paul Desmond's limpid alto saxophone playing goes so well with Brubeck's piano style. These two both produced their best work in each other's company. The tune selection is excellent: four Brubeck originals amongst an outstanding list of standard tunes. In fact, Brubeck's The Duke should now be classified in that bracket.

In the 1950s I heard this quartet at the Coventry Theatre, in a programme they shared with the Jazz Couriers, co-led by Ronnie Scott and Tubby Hayes. I liked the band then and I like it now on this record.

Don Mather

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