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

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NDR 60 Years Jazz Edition No.02





1. Gone With The Wind

2. One Moment Worth Years

3. Someday My Prince Will Come

4. The Wright Groove

5. For All We Know

6. The Duke

7. Take The A-Train

8. Out Of Nowhere


1. Two Part Contention

2. I’m In A Dancing Mood

3. These Foolish Things

4. Drums Along The Thames (Watusi Drums)

5. St. Louis Blues


Dave Brubeck Quartet: Dave Brubeck (piano), Paul Desmond (alto sax), Gene Wright (bass), Joe Morello (drums)

rec. in concert in the Niedersachsenhalle, Hannover, Germany on February 28, 1958 Mono [57:02][51:59]


According to the insert there are in the archives of NDR some 2000 concerts and studio recordings from the great jazz days post second world war which puts it up there with a German sister station SWR and both have begun to release highlights from their respective treasure troves which this 2 CD set can certainly be considered as being a highpoint.

Riding high at home in the USA the Dave Brubeck Quartet were at the peak of their popularity in the late 1950s regularly releasing classic albums such as Jazz Goes To College, Jazz At Oberlin,Time Out, The Riddle and many more in a career lasting for well over 60 years. Though there were several changes in both drummers and bass players the line up on these discs lasted for ten years (1958-1968) and in fact Eugene (Gene) Wright had just joined them for the tour that these CDs are recordings from. Dave’s quartet made over 120 recordings an impressive total by any standards but this one is the first time this concert has been available on disc and is a welcome addition to that fantastic list, especially on the first anniversary of his death, a day before his 92nd birthday in December 2012.

The concert is classic Brubeck with his quartet’s wonderfully easy, laid back sound and its signature originality in terms of rhythm. Despite Paul Desmond’s most famous tune Take Five being a year away at one point Dave was proud to explain, in his usual shy way, how he and his band could achieve the playing of 3/4 and 4/4 beats simultaneously as they did in Someday My Prince Will Come. The concert is a good mix of standards, four originals by Brubeck and one, The Wright Groove, by their new bass player which was then still untitled. For those who like their jazz more ‘dangerous’ and edgy the Dave Brubeck Quartet seems too ‘tame’ and I have to admit that while I enjoy their music hugely and at times sit awed by their artistry I do find it difficult to listen to more than one of their CDs at a time. Nevertheless this two CD set is a true gem in the world’s Jazz archive and will be cherished by all Brubeck fans. The sound is extraordinarily good and shows the abilities of the German sound recordists of the time in what was one of the first ‘outside’ recordings NDR had made. It is intriguing to speculate as to what other treasures lie in its vaults; hopefully we will be discovering many more over the years to come.

Steve Arloff


Gerard Hoffnung CDs

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