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Dave Brubeck - Greatest Hits

88 customer reviews

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Dave Brubeck's Greatest Hits
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Audio CD, December 9, 1997
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

While greatest-hits CDs abound, Dave Brubeck has been one of the few modern-jazz musicians to have actually enjoyed an occasional hit record. This CD compiles material from Brubeck's Columbia recordings of the 1950s and 1960s, revealing his deft combination of modernist harmony and unusual time signatures with the immediately accessible. Whether it's his own fine song "In Your Own Sweet Way" or Stephen Foster's "Camptown Races," his homage to Duke Ellington or the Mozart-inspired "Blue Rondo," Brubeck balances his taste for innovation with traditional melodic values. The quartet with altoist Paul Desmond was Brubeck's finest instrument. Desmond's gauzy sound and fluent improvisations provided effective contrast to Brubeck's own assertive, slightly stiff piano playing, and drummer Joe Morello smoothed out the most challenging rhythms. Desmond's "Take Five" has become a jazz standard, and this once-controversial music now conveys a special period charm. --Stuart Broomer
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (December 9, 1997)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B000002AL8
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (88 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,376 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

44 of 46 people found the following review helpful By S. Lester on June 7, 2003
Format: Audio CD
I've always felt that of all the jazz composers, Dave Brubeck has the most original ideas and concepts. Bear in mind, the man is not just strictly a jazz composer, recently I saw one of Brubeck's newest compositions entitled 'Regrets' being performed by the Yale Cellos, an entire 22 piece ensemble of just cellos. At the recital, I saw him there and got a chance to speak to him and ask him some questions. Given that Dave is currently 82 years old he is still very sharp, though he did not have a lot to say. What he did tell me however, after I asked him how he thought jazz and improvisation related to his orchestral and chamber music, was that they are one in the same. This is clearly evident in all of his music. No one has embodied more of romantic and post-romantic music in the jazz idiom than Dave Brubeck. The tunes on this album I must stress are SOME of the best work he did with the Dave Brubeck quartet featuring Paul Desmond, one of the greatest jazz bands in history. You still get overview however of what makes this band stand out from all other jazz quartets in history. If you are not familiar with Brubeck you should definetely buy this album and listen to it from beginning to end with no distractions and then you will understand what makes his musical ideas so original. If you are familiar with Brubeck you already know what I'm talking about, and this album will just serve as a good summary of his work with Desmond, Morello, and Wright.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Paul Allaer TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 13, 2002
Format: Audio CD
What can you say about the best of one of the greatest jazz combos, ever? This is about as timeless as it gets. And in remastered sound, no less. I'm not necessarly a big jazz fan, but I recognize great music, whatever style.
The songs are from the 1959-1964 era, and include all the classics, including among others "Take Five", which remains as fresh today as it was in 1959, "I'm in a Dancing Mood", a live version of "The Duke", and "Blue Rondo a la Turk". I marvel at the genius of Dave Brubeck. My only regret is that I never I had the opportunity to see Dave Brubeck live in concert. Oh well... meanwhile I will do with this. Essential for any serious music lover, whatever your musical preference.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 31, 2001
Format: Audio CD
I listen to this all the time. Although the tracks are a basic run through of Brubeck's hits and the album seems a little dated, it is indispensable for any lover of jazz. Naturally TAKE FIVE is a classic, as is BLUE RONDO, one of my favorites, but other less popular numbers like the beautiful IN MY OWN SWEET WAY (entirely performed by Brubeck on piano) and the vicious UNSQUARE DANCE who's rhythm, as the liner notes point out, refuses to be squared (just try clapping to it). Brubeck is one of my favorite jazz musicians because of his cool style that's innovative and toe-tapping at once.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By arcid63 on April 28, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Well, I've been a jazz music fan for a very short time so I can't yet say I'm this big connoisseur and all but...but I bought Dave's Greatest Hits cd yesterday and as I got home I put it into my cd player right away and listened to it three times in a row!!Couldn't help tapping and snapping to it. What a GREAT music, folks! I love all the tracks, especially that "Rondo a la Turk" one which I didn't know was one of Dave's milestones.

If you are looking for a real jazz masterpiece, try this cd and then tell me if I'm right. @.
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
There are many "greatest hits" albums that have been produced over the years covering the spectrum of musical genre. Some have not necessarily lived up to that title, but others, such as this one do, and it might also be called this jazz pianist and composer's most memorable hits.

Dave Brubeck's Greatest Hits is not a new album. Released in the mid-1960s as a vinyl LP, it features Dave Brubeck on piano, Paul Desmond on alto sax, Eugene Wright on bass, and Joe Morello on drums. It was produced by Teo Macero, who also produced the legendary Time Out album featuring the Dave Brubeck Quartet on Columbia Records in 1959, and these two albums have been personal jazz favorites since the 1960s when purchased original on vinyl during that era.

1. Take Five
2. I'm In A Dancing Mood
3. In Your Own Sweet Way
4. Camptown Races
5. The Duke (live version)
6. It's A Raggy Waltz
7. Bossa Nova U.S.A.
8. Trolley Song
9. Unsquare Dance
10. Blue Rondo à la Turk
11. Theme from "Mr. Broadway"

Each of the tracks here are excellent examples of the jazz standards that came from the Dave Brubeck Quartet, and reflect the unique time signatures, with superimposing contrasting rhythms, meters, and tonalities that became the signature of this group. Paul Desmond was Brubeck's long-time musical partner going back to the early 1950s, and it was he who wrote the saxophone melody for Quartet's best remembered piece, "Take Five", which is fittingly the first track of this album.
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