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4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5 stars
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The classic Brubeck Quartet live and in spanking form. Joe Morello was ill on the night of the recording he can be heard coughing in bassist Eugene Wright's feature 'King For A Day'. The rest of the world's drummers (me included) just hope that one day they might approach something akin to this level, and we would need to be in peak physical condition to even contemplate such hubris. Morello's mammoth solo on 'Castilian Drums' is a tour de force, maintaining a musicality few drummers could hope to achieve even when taking a single chorus of 'fours'.

The whole band play well, and the excitement the crowd was feeling is tangible. I do have a few criticisms though... Most of the material here is treated just as well or better on studio versions, and some of the tunes here aren't from the band's top drawer (I'd rather have heard 'Blue Shadows In The Street' than 'Bossa Nova U.S.A.', but overall they favour upbeat numbers in both sets). The material from the 'Time Out' sessions stands head and shoulders above most of the rest of the programme.

My least favourite musical element is Brubeck's insistent pounding on one particular note, which he starts doing in the opening number, 'St Louis Blues', and returns to occasionally throughout (it's something he mentions with apparent pride in the copious and interesting liner notes). However despite these reservations, this is a fantastic band playing brilliantly, and so still deserving of a full complement of stars.
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on 14 January 2004
This album is worth buying for the incredible drum solo in Castillian Drums alone. Anyone in their 50's is going to have this already on Vinyl and probably just Part Two which contains the famous "Take Five". Regardless of that, it's time to buy the CD version. The sound quality is absolutely superb, such that it's hard to believe that this was recorded in 1963.
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on 7 June 2011
This without doubt, the best album the great Dave Brubeck Quartet ever made. The playing
of all four men is often beyond belief and never at any point, less than great.
I first saw this group playing live in London in 1959 and I was fortunate to catch them twice more.
The concert format was ideal, so this CD is a must have. Anyone wishing to include Brubeck's music in
their collection for the first time, should look no further than this album for starters.
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on 26 March 2003
What an immpecable concert this is, and it is just as billed: as fresh as a daisy, with a magical convergence of talent fuelled by an equally enthusiastic audience.
The trick about Brubeck is his ability to turn unusual time signatures into sparkling, vibrant improvisations. Here he is on top form, but the real revelation is how good the other members of the quartet were. Paul Desmond is well enough known and appreciated.. but check out the extraordinary drum solo (which brings the house down) from Joe Morello - "Castilian Drums".
If jazz has all sorts of unwelcome connotations for you, try this.Impossible not to enjoy, and the musicianship is of the very highest.
One of the greatest ever Jazz albums.. it lives up to the enthusiastic hype of the original sleeve. Intelligent, gorgeous, intricate music. BUY IT!!!!
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Apparently review number 28! What is there to add?
This double CD recorded in concert at the Carnegie Hall in 1963 with the classic quartet is a marvellous record of a great concert, of which many were performed and many recorded. This is outstanding because of the programme: a mixture of new material, items from the "revolutionary" 1959 album "Time Out" and old war horses such as "Pennies From Heaven" (my favourite Brubeck individual track of all time?).
I love live concert recordings because musicians play differently in concert compared to studio recordings; the interaction with the audience, the response to applause etc. is great and I don't find this audience a distraction at all(see a previous review).
Brubeck plays with extreme passion (often in response to the drumming of Joe Morello, who must be one of the greatest drummers of all time); the empathy between all four musicians is fantastic. This really was the greatest quartet of all time and they play out of their skins tonight.
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on 12 October 2008
I have listened to quite a few quality Jazz albums of late (including Art Blakey, Cannonball Adderley, Charlie Parker, etc.) but this one really is a masterpiece! The cover includes an interview with G.T. Simon, Jazz Commentator of the NY Herald Tribune at the time, and gives great insight into the special nature of that night. "Then suddenly it happened - right after the start of the third number. Don't ask why. Probably nobody can explain it. But it happened all right, and what had begun as quite a good Brubeck concert burst abruptly into a truly great one." The entire story is well worth the read. The musicians are not merely playing, they are preaching, and convincing, and so full of life and energy! It is almost impossible to interrupt a piece to go and do something, answer a phone call, or a call of nature! Without doubt, one of the best Jazz albums in existence. And all the tunes you could hope for, including Take Five, Blue Rondo A La Turk, and Three To Get Ready.
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on 12 September 2012
I totally share my fellow-reviewers' enthusiasm for this wonderful double-album, with one big reservation. Incidentally, at time of writing, it's almost being given away by Amazon, so buy it while it lasts. These guys were without doubt the D-Bs of the modern jazz scene and in the early 60s were individually and together at the height of their very considerable powers. The addition of Joe Morello to the line-up was perhaps the spark that ignited the combustion, and it's easy to see why Mr Desmond was unhappy about him. You can either stretch your brain working out the time signatures and the harmonies, or you you can sit back and enjoy. Every track is a highlight; I especially enjoyed the unusual version of 'Take Five'. My big reservation? Instead of being edited out, the audience participation has been foregrounded. The clapping and whistling occasionally comes close to drowning out the band. I found it intrusive and very irritating.
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on 30 January 2002
The Brubeck Quartet reached the peak of their performance in this live session. Every number is played to perfection with each member of the group hitting their peak. The group have played better, but never on a live recording.
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on 8 June 2015
Superb. Timeless, fabulously complex yet so listenable to. I'm a great believer that if you bring children up listening to a wide range of music styles, including everything from jazz and classical to hip hop and funk, they'll develop greater intelligence and mental dexterity. After all, look at me!
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on 1 July 2011
Some of the best Dave Brubeck you will ever hear. Castillian Drums....WOW, amazing. I have lots of Brubeck cds but this is the best by far!
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