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The Dave Brubeck Octet

2.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 7, 1991
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$9.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 4 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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The listener has to forgive a few things about this undeniably brilliant collection of Dave Brubeck's first big ensemble. First: the liner notes' pretentions. Brubeck announces there that between 1946, when some of these tunes were recorded, and 1956, when the tapes were first "reissued" on LP, "very few released recordings" have "more musical importance" than the octet. Second: the nearly seven minutes of "How High the Moon" narrated to show how jazz was formed, as the band plays in short demonstrative segments. Third: the audio vérité sound, which even Brubeck thought questionable in 1956. Hearing this dynamic set, though, makes forgiveness easy. The arrangements show a wild abundance of color and orchestral finesse (many of the group's members were, like Brubeck, students of Darius Milhaud). You get quick-clip swingers like "The Way You Looked Tonight" and the string of chamber-esque horn studies that includes "Schizophrenic Scherzo" and more. You also get to hear early Paul Desmond and William O. Smith bouncing ideas off each other and drummer Cal Tjader. And it's all a delight, especially with the magnanimity of "forgiving" Brubeck. --Andrew Bartlett
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 7, 1991)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Original Jazz Classics
  • ASIN: B000000Y60
  • Average Customer Review: 2.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #210,640 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Format: Audio CD
I didn't care for this disc but I'm not panning it altogether because the playing is first rate and the ideas are innovative and ahead of their time. I just don't care for the music - it's more a matter of personal taste. These 18 tracks, recorded in 1946 by the Dave Brubeck Octet, feature a good deal of experimental (for the period) "chamber jazz" based on some standards as well as original compositions. On one track, an announcer actually narrates as the group goes through a series of variations on How High The Moon, from early jazz form to bop. Interesting stuff, intellectually stimulating but not very fun to listen to. I'm just a traditionalist...it's gotta swing! Recommended for serious students of jazz and history buffs only. If you're looking for some swinging jazz octet, check out Dave Pell or Don Fagerquist.
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Format: Audio CD
Just after World War II, Dave and friends created an eight-instrument group and launched civilian careers in jazz. I agree with the other two reviews here. As a Brubeck fan, these recordings just do not interest me as much as I had hoped they would. I've heard Brubeck tracks from the early '50's with smaller groups, and those satisfy me much more. If you are a Brubeck "completist" you have to have this. If you are more of a "Take Five" era fan, skip it.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Too many instruments, too many notes. Dave's famous groove has not developed in the octet but, hey, this was 60+ years ago and it sounds like it.
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