This classic live recording from 1954 features the Dave Brubeck Quartet on a set of swinging tunes. With Brubeck is Paul Desmond on Alto Sax, Bob Bates on Bass and Joe Dodge on drums. The group is not as well known as the classic quartet (apart from Desmond obviously) that would appear a few years later, and if you were being harsh you might criticise the fact that the bass player seems to walk in 4/4 all the time. So perhaps the rhythm section is a less flexible unit in terms of the time it kept. But the later quartet was justly famous for its time, so I would just say this is a swinging recording!
Above that is the playing from Brubeck and Desmond, which is consistently inventive. As with his entire career Brubeck plays with that wonderful mixture of chordal jazz, modern classical, bits of Bach - which is quite unique in Jazz Piano. There is an astonishing sequence on Le Souk which is the best Piano solo on this album in my opinion. Desmond in contrast is I suppose the opitimony of cool jazz. A wonderfully fluid alto player who although a complete contrast to Brubecks playing is somehow magically the perfect fit.
Interesting "Le Souk" was recorded at Oberlin College, which was the venue for another classic early Brubeck album (Jazz at Oberlin) that I highly recommend.
The track listing is:
Out of Nowhere
Take the "A" Train
The Song is You
Don't Worry 'bout Me
I Want To Be Happy
Sound quality is pretty good for a 58 year old recording and the CD is 51mins long. Sadly since I wrote this review Dave Brubeck has died. Truly one of the last of the giants has left us.