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Brubeck Plays Brubeck Original recording remastered


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Audio CD, Original recording remastered, October 20, 1998
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Dave Brubeck was one of the most active and popular musicians in both the jazz and classical worlds. With a career that spanned over six decades, his experiments in odd time signatures, improvised counterpoint, polyrhythm and polytonality remain hallmarks of innovation.

Born into a musical family in Concord, California-- his two older brothers were also professional musicians--he began ... Read more in Amazon's Dave Brubeck Store

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 20, 1998)
  • Original Release Date: 1956
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B00000DFSE
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #191,480 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Swing Bells
2. Walkin' Line
3. In Your Own Sweet Way
4. Two-Part Contention
5. Weep No More
6. The Duke
7. When I Was Young
8. One Moment Worth Years
9. The Waltz

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Hopefully, the reappearance of this revelatory 1956 record will force many critics and musicians to reconsider Brubeck's stature in the world of jazz piano. Recorded late at night in his Oakland, California, home, it was Brubeck's first full solo-piano recording and also his first all-original record, and it illustrates his marvelously elegant fusion of classical and cocktail conceptions. Brubeck understands blues and swing, but he uses these elements as tools for effect, not as default settings. Brubeck instead offers a fuller palette of emotions and ideas--playful, sober, stern, happy, pensive, cerebral. While "In Your Own Sweet Way" and "The Duke" have become standards, the album includes obscure gems such as the minisuite "Two-Part Contention," with its many tempo, mood, and stylistic turns, and the discreetly swinging "Walkin' Line," although he lapses into melodrama with "Weep No More." Still, on "The Duke" (originally titled "The Duke Meets Darius Milhaud"), it's fascinating to hear how easily and smoothly he fits all 12 scale notes into his opening bass figure. As he himself points out in the brilliant original notes (reprinted here), the marriage of European music and American music dates back to New Orleans jazzmen such as King Oliver. And to dismiss any notions of intellectualism in jazz would be a great insult to everyone from Oliver to Charlie Parker to John Lewis to Bill Evans to Sun Ra. This is the jazz of Brubeck's own experience, and while it may sound too poised and polished for some tastes, it is honestly his and must be viewed as such. --Marc Greilsamer

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Frederic Gray on March 9, 2000
Format: Audio CD
I waited years for this to come out on CD. As a wannabe jazz pianist, I got the LP and wore it out. There is a companion set of music books with faithful transcription by Howard Brubeck. Brubeck is by far the best composer for jazz piano, and these selections are some of his best works. If you play, get this and the book and proceed to learn a lot. If you just love jazz piano, this is one of the very best.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By RH on April 23, 2014
Format: MP3 Music
While Dave Brubeck still kept on impressing the music world and topped the jazz
charts with his masterful albums for Columbia Records and occasionally for Fantasy
Records, the great jazz master had decided to make this captivating and beautifully-
crafted solo album in 1956--with rewarding results. Brubeck Plays Brubeck is a dual
landmark for the great pianist- composer where it was at once his initial solo session
and the first time he recorded an album that comprised entirely of his original pieces,
as the detailed liner notes describe with such characteristic modesty’ the nine tracks
herein as “primarily sketches”, whom he describes as a skeletal framework on which
to improvise. This type of sketchbook reveals an attractive array of muted tones, as
he also draws on differently on styles from baroque to Fats Waller, to Duke Ellington
to humourous cocktail chordings. Starting off on a delightful note on Swing Bells, the
presence of Brubeck’s two best-known compositions: the lovely lilting In Your Sweet
Way and The Duke, which during the first eight bars, move with feline grace through
all 12 keys, while other melodic tracks consist of Walkin’ Line, Two-Part Connection,
When I Was Young and The Waltz. Brubeck Plays Brubeck is truly one of his finest
albums, as this work displays an irreproachably light touch and, to borrow its phrase
from the great lyricist Alan Jay Lerner, its seriously independent of the reigning jazz
piano orthodoxies of the day, and that is something many jazz pianists may want to
take for granted, in which this once out-of-print gem sincerely deserve to became a
crucial part in the Brubeck canon.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By M. Schiffer on March 2, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This was an early Brubeck album of solo piano versions of his best-known compositions. It has always been one of my favorites.
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By John Abbott on August 28, 2014
Format: MP3 Music
“The Duke”, dedicated to Duke Ellington, was first recorded on Brubeck’s 1955 LP Jazz: Red, Hot and Cool, but probably the best version is this one for solo piano on Brubeck Plays Brubeck, issued by Columbia Records a year later. This is the version that Miles Davis heard and gave to Gil Evans to orchestrate for a 19 piece band on the Miles Ahead album of 1957 – an arrangement which Brubeck loved. It’s a beautifully relaxed piece with an inventive bass line combined with a melody that often moves in block, parallel triads, almost as if the spread of the right hand just remains in a single position as it moves up and down the keyboard. The effect is a blurring of the harmonies and a feeling of laziness – the chords fit the convenience of the hand rather than the strict laws of harmony.

All the more surprising then, that this piece has come to be known as a relatively rare example of jazz that uses a 12-tone row (in the opening section’s bass line). Brubeck has related how, when playing it a college concert, the head of the jazz department came up and pointed it out to him, so it seems that it was done unconsciously. But if it can be regarded as a tone row at all, it’s certainly not used in the manner of Schoenberg. The strict rules are that no notes should be repeated before the full row has been used (the underlying idea being that all 12 notes of the chromatic scale are given equal weight). Brubeck does use all 12 notes but takes 21 notes to do so, with nine repeated. And one of the reasons that all the 12 notes are used up so quickly is that the predominant motion is in chromatic, semitone steps. Most importantly of all, the line is harmonized diatonically – despite the blurring effect mentioned above the underlying chord sequence itself is relatively conventional.
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1 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Ian Brown on January 20, 2004
Format: Audio CD
This is the best song of all the desert songs and i was wondering if there was a website where I could get the words to it as i only remember some of the words.
regards Ian Brown
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