Another excellent value box from Real Gone Jazz. Whilst I have noticed that Amazon have the track lists available,the albums contained here are:
Jazz At Oberlin (1953) Brubeck Time (!955) Brubeck Plays Brubeck (1956) Jazz Impressions Of The USA (1956) Plays And Plays And Plays (1957) Dave Digs Disney (1957) Time Out (1959) Jazz Impressions Of Eurasia (1958) Jazz At The Blackhawk (1952) Jazz At Storyville (1952) Dave Brubeck Trio (1952) Jazz At The College Of The Pacific (1953) Southern Scene (1960) The Riddle (1960) Brubeck & Rushing (1960) Near Myth (1961) Gone With The Wind (1959) Brubeck A La Mode (1960) Bernstein Plays Brubeck Plays Bernstein (1961) Time Further Out (1961)
This box provides so many hours to enjoy. Whilst there are personnel changes through these albums, his two faithful companions, the brilliant Paul Desmond on sax appears on most with Joe Morello (drums) appearing on over half. The box is lucky enough to contain Time Out, one of the clutch of ground breaking albums to appear in 1959, plus another from the time series Time Further Out, (check out the box For All Time if you like).
Through my main system, the quality of these recording, although budget priced, strikes me as good - I certainly have no complaints. For anyone wishing to buy a small Brubeck library, or renew old vinyl, this set is brilliant; for someone who wishes to get to grips with one of the great jazz pianists in his prime years, then this is brilliant; for anyone who enjoys "modern" jazz, it is brilliant.
Packaging is like the other boxes in this series, 10 CDs in individual cardboard slip cases with illustrations of the original covers, a little booklet with track listings and personnel, all contained in a cardboard clam box. So you get 20 albums in the space of 3 standard CDs and if your library is expanding to the point you have storage problems, this is a real bonus.
As this is currently available on Marketplace for just over a pound per CD, you'd be mad not to snap one up.
I don't know about you, but while I love a bargain (and twenty albums for this price is surely that), I always hate it if such a set is packaged badly. That could be because the sound is terrible or because in order to fit the 20 albums onto a much smaller number of CDs they have included say parts of one album on two different CDs or the equally normal "let's create a new set of covers for the sleeves. Here I'm glad to say they have done everything right. The sound is re-mastered; they fill two full original albums on each CD (which means they have apparently selected which two albums go together on the basis of the total length rather than any common theme which may irritate you - for me this was OK); and each sleeve cover under a set heading contains pictures of the two albums and nothing else. There's a thin booklet too which however just repeats the track titles and adds full dates, locations and players. All is packed into a small but solid (and equally tasteful box). In other words well done to the team responsible for this re-issue of 20 original albums which I bought despite having about a quarter of the albums on CD already (some of my single CDs have additional bonus tracks - here you get the original albums only which agin doesn't bother me).
The soundscape encapsulated in this collection is really sepia toned, with production values which reflect the era. All of the quality is in the musicianship, and you don't just get Dave Brubeck, you get his sidemen, mainly Paul Desmond Joe Morello and Eugene Wright, all seriously good musicians in their own right, and others such as William O.Smith. The tape media quality is a little wanting in places, with seriously obvious drop out evident on some of the live recordings. But, there is nothing digital or electronic involved in the production of the music, and the musical skill shines through, completely uncluttered. The music is highly individualised even when doing interpretations of great american song book standards, so don't expect just another cover of a song with a familiar name. Dave's subliminal best is here, not just in the classic 'Time Out', but across all of the albums, especially in the way he allows the other musicians to shine.
20 terrific albums in a box for less than ten quid (from a marketplace seller), what's not to like? I suppose it was 'Take Five' that launched me onto the path of being a modern jazz fan back in the late fifties and I've always liked Dave Brubeck and the group he led which featured Paul Desmond on Alto Sax but I have to admit that he was somewhat under represented in my collection which numbers over 1000 jazz albums. I have put that right with the addition of this marvellous box set and a few other purchases. The sound on this set is excellent and the only quibble is that the bonus tracks added to some of the reissued CDs are not there on this issue, but at this price you can't complain. If you buy this album and you enjoy it I can also highly recommend the 2CD 'Live at Carnegie Hall' set.
The package is utilitarian but smartly designed and sound quality cuts the mustard. My only quibbles are: I already had "Dave Digs Disney" on Japanese-issue CD, whose bonus tracks are missing here. Also, it would have been desirable albeit more expensive to have had each LP available in its own cardboard sleeve with original cover art and liner notes intact. I wouldn't have minded using the Palomar Observatory telescope to read the micro print. Despite my minor beefs, this set is packed to the rafters with stimulating music at an unbeatable price.
For a collector knowing just Time Out and owning just Jazz Goes to College, this collection serves as a great introduction to the late Dave Brubeck. Packing to capacity might not be the hipster solution, but for the casual music lover there is an incredible amount to listen an enjoy. There is certainly much beyond Time Out and Jazz Goes to College; one only has to listen to the inspired improvisation in How High the Moon, first with clarinet by the inimitable Paul Desmond, then by Dave himself. One also can learn by listening that Brubeck certainly had learnt his counterpoint. Certainly recommended.
This is one of the buys of the year, possibly the decade.
Even if you are only vaguely aware of Dave Brubeck, buy this! You won't regret it! Twenty albums for not much money is not necessarily a bargain, only in this case, it is. Documentation is a little light-on, with track titles, personnel, album title and release year the only information included.
However, the big plus with this set is the sound quality. What it lacks in documentation, it makes up for in the listening. I was mightly impressed with the clean, fresh sound garnered from these recordings. Of particular interest to me was "Bernstein Plays Brubeck Plays Bernstein" album of 1961, which was a knockout. That's not to say the other 19 albums aren't - they all are, but I was particularly happy to have the Bernstein album.
I was a Dave Brubeck fan before this, so some of the material in this box I already have. Even so, it was worth buying this for what I didn't have, as it still worked out cheaper than buying the original albums.
A wonderful tribute to a versatile musician. Get yourself a present, or urge someone else to buy it for you.
I just love this boxed set. The quality of the recordings are excellent. Unlike some, I like the fact that the bonus tracks are not added to these albums. The original album artwork is good to see too. I only have two CDs and a cassette tape of Dave Brubeck ap art from this set and the more I listen to DB, the more I like his music. A superb value boxed set.