Dave Brubeck was never shy about coming down hard on his piano keyboard, and this live performance at the 1971 Newport Jazz Festival is perhaps the least subtle of all his recordings. After hearing these tracks and the responsiveness of the crowd, listeners will have no doubt that this is exactly what the occasion called for.
Alan Dawson (drums) and Jack Six (bass) do an excellent job of preserving the Brubeck tradition while contributing to their legendary leader's evolution in the 1970s. And of course, Gerry Mulligan, who set the standard for baritone saxophonists, is a perfect solution to the dilemma of what to do after Paul Desmond. He makes "Take Five" sound like a brand new tune. And check out what Brubeck and Mulligan do in the opener "Blues for Newport." Many times since I acquired the original LP in the early 1970s, I've found myself humming this tune - and stealing licks from it for my own solos.
This is a short program with only three tracks totaling just under 35 minutes, but it's fun to hear how much energy can be generated by an acoustic quartet. It's a must-have for fans of Brubeck and Mulligan.