Dave Brubeck in his quartet is a majestic thing: his vital improvising, his off-kilter yet dead-on rhythmic sense and his wonderful songwriting and arranging is always on display for us. Yet, Dave doesn't get the chance in his group (especially his current one) to display his full range of pianistic gifts; he's got too many good musicians to compete with! On this album, Dave's special keyboard touch can finally be heard. Sure, we've all heard the criticisms before: Dave can't swing, he just pounds, has a limited technique, etc. Nonsense. People said the same things about Miles and Monk. Here Dave shows the full flow of his musical ideas on his beloved instrument. Just like Monk and the Duke, Dave uses his piano for composing, too. I get the same special feeling when I listen to any of these three masters alone at a piano. It's the sound of their concepts, completely unfettered from the absence of other musicians. Here, Brubeck's wondeful sense of harmony and his musical command of polytonality (as opposed to gimmicky command) are especially evident. It's Dave, one alone, with no worries...in complete command.