Album Remarks & Appraisals:
Before there was Time Out, there was Jazz Goes To College. This incredible album documents the 1954 North American college tour of The Dave Brubeck Quartet and features Paul Desmond on alto saxophone, Bob Bates on double bass and Joe Dodge on drums. Following the album's original release, Dave Brubeck landed on the cover of Time Magazine and was declared "the most exciting new jazz artist at work today." This new and limited vinyl reissue has been mastered and cut directly from the original mono tapes by Ryan K. Smith at Sterling Sound and plated and pressed at RTI on 180-gram vinyl. Robert Christgau - Record Grade: A. Christgau commented that on the album's standards, Paul Desmond is at his "lyrical best."
Perfect representation of the Dave Brubeck Quartet's pre-Time Out (1959) antics in the preferable concert performance setting. The quartet's "support of Brubeck is uniformly flawless, ultimately producing what many consider as the most memorable music in the artist's cannon.
All About Jazz
Essential recording" of "Brubeck-Desmond's greatest period, before the comparatively sterile, more formulaic studio albums, including Time Out.
Dave Brubeck Quartet: Dave Brubeck (piano); Paul Desmond (alto saxophone); Bob Bates (bass); Joe Dodge (drums).
Recorded in 1954. Includes original release liner notes by George Avakian.
All tracks have been digitally remastered.
Dave Brubeck (piano) began his Columbia Records association on a second album of material that his quartet had cut during its spring of 1954 tour of North American college campuses, Paul and Dave's Jazz Interwoven (1954) being the first. Joining Brubeck are Paul Desmond (alto sax), Bob Bates (bass), and Joe Dodge (drums), whose support of Brubeck is uniformly flawless, ultimately producing what many consider as the most memorable music in the artist's cannon. "Balcony Rock" commences the platter from sides documented at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. The heavily improvised tune is formed on an eight-bar blues as Desmond steers the combo via his inspired and lyrical leads. The bouncy "Out of Nowhere," comes via a show at the University of Cincinnati and centers on Brubeck's uncanny timing as his passages quickly vacillate between edgy and atonal to decidedly more fluid and melodic. Again, Desmond is nothing short of exemplary as his sax weaves around the rhythm section. "Le Souk" hails from Oberlin College in Ohio and provides Desmond another strong vehicle. His lines tie Bates' prominent propulsions together with Dodge's solid backbeat and Brubeck's similarly aggressive bashing. This takes place behind Brubeck's emphatic and frenetic pounding and garners considerable appreciation by those in attendance. The sturdy bop supporting Duke Ellington's "Take the 'A' Train" is given further fuel thanks to the combination of Desmond's straightforward and unfettered blows and Dodge's punchy interjections. "The Song Is You" is a minor masterpiece as Desmond's efforts resonate his exceptional fluidity. In fact, practically the whole track is marked by his cool, limber phrasing, with Brubeck taking the helm only briefly at the end. The refined and stately reading of "Don't Worry 'Bout Me" reaches far beyond the blues intimated by the sense of forlorn in Brubeck's contributions, thanks to the simple if not austere arrangement. The converse can be said regarding the striking energy of "I Want to Be Happy" as the band leans in hard with a purpose and finesse that can be eloquently summed up in the final phrase as all four members seemingly draw the song to a dynamic and dramatic conclusion. Indeed the genre gets schooled on Jazz Goes to College, a (dare say) perfect representation of the Dave Brubeck Quartet's pre-Time Out (1959) antics in the preferable concert performance setting. ~ Lindsay Planer
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