Recent listening, current

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

33. The Dave Brubeck Quartet / Jazz: Red Hot and Cool (1955)

Recorded live at New York's Basin Street club across three nights, this quartet isn't the same one that gelled on "Take Five," but the Joe Dodge/Bob Bates team sounds fine and contributes to the Brubeck formula admirably with rhythmical inspiration and some interesting polyrhythmic steering from Dodge. The pieces for the Morello-Wright band are already in place, like polytonality, polyrhythm and fugue-like structures. But these were already present during the days of the Dave Brubeck Octet, and earlier still during formative late nights at the Blackhawk. So if you're into Brubeck then there's plenty of good music here to enjoy. Sonny Rollins is credited in the notes of Saxophone Colossus for being the first jazz musician to develop his improvisations with an ear toward their musicality, as spontaneous compositions. That makes sense if Ira Gitler wasn't looking at the West Coast where Brubeck was doing exactly that. Full shifts in signatures mid tune, Desmond responding on the fly to Brubeck's harmonic cues -- as Brubeck's groups ever were, interesting music that rewards deep listening. 

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