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3.8 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on December 29, 2012
The many sides Dave Brubeck recorded for Concord and Telarc affirm that the peripatetic pianist successfully reinvented himself after the departure of Paul Desmond, at least as far as a solid core of admiring fans was concerned; but, based on "The Best of the Dave Brubeck Quartet (1979-2004)," a 20 track sampling assembled by Brubeck's long time producer/manager Russell Gloyd, there's no question that the years with Desmond were his best. Brubeck did some fine things post-Desmond, but I think the happy-bouncy approach of much of his output, and his questionable choice of sidemen, did not always reflect the strongest qualities of the quartet leader. While Brubeck didn't dwell on the musical past (but did play a lot of the old repertoire), what his groups too often ended up projecting was a kind of generic jazz sound -- interestingly, not when Brubeck himself played, but when it was the turn of his reed players, who, despite their obsessive enthusiasm, are almost consistently bland; but Brubeck picked them and the tunes, worked out the arrangements and obviously was responsible for the new sound, too much of which has a quasi-Dixieland inflection.

Three stars.
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on November 9, 2006
this was the worst compilation of brubeck's music I have ever heard. i played it once and vowed never to listen to it again. there was a sameness about every track and once any musical theme had ever been identified it was generally lost and thrown away, resulting in a dull sameness about every track. your ad did not make it clear that these were to be recordings of live performances and the audience took over at times. i gave it to a friend and he hasn't thanked me yet!
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on July 1, 2007
There will never be another Dave Brubeck. He is a the giant in Jazz. Music was was in his soul since he was born December 6, 1920.That's right he is 87 and still going strong. A super performance in Trenton New jersey about three weeks ago. Born in California but has lived in Wilton, Connecticut for many years. Loved this compilation tremendously. Long live Dave and his three sons!How about ten [10] stars???!!!!
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on January 3, 2007
I liked the quartet with Paul Desmond better but this stuff still sounds great.
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on November 16, 2006
If you like Brubeck, then you'll like this set. I think the fact that it is live is a bonus! There are great piano solos and duets with sax, along with good tracks with the entire combo. A good mix.
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