Dave Brubeck this weekend, recorded in concert at Niedersachsen Halle in Hannover Germany on February 28, 1958. Brubeck was one of the primary exponents of the Cool School of Jazz and one of the true innovators of the form. By 1958, he had become a household name in the music world – his records were huge sellers and his reputation made him a must-see with concertgoers.
This concert takes place during one of the many European tours Brubeck and his quartet performed throughout the 1950s and 60s. This is the original quartet, consisting of Brubeck, Paul Desmond and tenor sax, Gene Wright on bass and Joe Morello on drums. It was particularly noted, early on, that Brubeck fought vigorously against racial segregation, so prevalent in the mainstream music and entertainment business at the time. He was legendary for canceling concerts, club dates and even TV appearances where Gene Wright (his bass player, who was African-American) was either refused front-door admittance (in the case of clubs and concerts) or being excluded from appearing on TV. It did much to break the long-standing color barrier within the entertainment business. So Brubeck’s arrival on the scene announced a big change, not only in music but in social issues at the time.
Dave Brubeck was also one of the few Jazz figures to cross over into Mainstream popularity, by way of his groundbreaking composition Take Five. Composed by Paul Desmond, it was recorded in 1959, as part of the session issued on the album Time Out. It was singled out for airplay and became an enormously popular piece, prompting release as a single and making it one of the biggest selling Jazz crossover tunes of all time; one that’s still used in TV, films and is often heard just about everywhere music is played. Not bad for what Brubeck considered an afterthought at the time.
No doubt Dave Brubeck is such a familiar name that it’s hard not to think of anyone not knowing who he is – but in the event you don’t, check this concert out, go exploring and dig up one of the many albums he recorded throughout his career.
Certainly a legend – definitely worth having a listen.