Dave Brubeck Quartet – live at The White House- April 14, 1964 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –
Dave Brubeck to take things down a few decibels and degrees this weekend. A tape not broadcast, but circulated to friends of the artist of a White House gig for LBJ and King Hussein at a State Dinner on April 14, 1964.
In the early 1960s, Brubeck and his wife, Iola, developed a jazz musical, The Real Ambassadors, based in part on experiences they and their colleagues had during foreign tours on behalf of the Department of State. The soundtrack album, which featured Louis Armstrong, Lambert, Hendricks & Ross, and Carmen McRae was recorded in 1961; the musical was performed at the 1962 Monterey Jazz Festival.
At its peak in the early 1960s, the Brubeck Quartet was releasing as many as four albums a year. Apart from the “College” and the “Time” series, Brubeck recorded four LPs featuring his compositions based on the group’s travels, and the local music they encountered. Jazz Impressions of the U.S.A. (1956, Morello’s debut with the group), Jazz Impressions of Eurasia (1958), Jazz Impressions of Japan (1964), and Jazz Impressions of New York (1964) are less well-known albums, but all are brilliant examples of the quartet’s studio work, and they produced Brubeck standards such as “Summer Song”, “Brandenburg Gate”, “Koto Song”, and “Theme From Mr. Broadway”. (Brubeck wrote, and the Quartet performed, the theme song for this Craig Stevens CBS drama series; the music from the series became material for the New York album.) In 1961, Brubeck appeared in a few scenes of the British jazz/beat film All Night Long, which starred Patrick McGoohan and Richard Attenborough. Brubeck merely plays himself, with the film featuring close-ups of his piano fingerings. Brubeck performs “It’s a Raggy Waltz” from the Time Further Out album and duets briefly with bassist Charles Mingus in “Non-Sectarian Blues”.
In the early 1960s Dave Brubeck was the program director of WJZZ-FM radio (now WEZN-FM). He achieved his vision of an all-jazz format radio station along with his friend and neighbor John E. Metts, one of the first African Americans in senior radio management. The final studio album for Columbia by the Desmond/Wright/Morello quartet was Anything Goes (1966) featuring the songs of Cole Porter. A few concert recordings followed, and The Last Time We Saw Paris (1967) was the “Classic” Quartet’s swan-song.
Sit back, relax and crank this one up – forget about the outside world for the next half-hour or so.