The Fullerton and Long Beach Dave Brubeck Quartet recordings and “These Foolish Things”
In 1958, Columbia Records released Jazz Goes to Junior College, the last of the Dave Brubeck Quartet‘s live “college” albums (and the second from Columbia). It featured recordings from Fullerton Junior College and Long Beach Junior College (both in Southern California) in 1957, with Brubeck (piano), Paul Desmond (alto sax), Joe Morello (drums) and Norm Bates (bass).
The “college” series:
- Jazz at Oberlin (Fantasy, 1953) [details from brubeck.info] [Amazon]
- Jazz at the College of the Pacific (Fantasy, 1953) [details from brubeck.info] [Amazon]
- Jazz at the College of the Pacific, Vol. 2 (Fantasy, 2002) [details from brubeck.info] [Amazon]
- Jazz Goes to College (Columbia, 1954) [details from brubeck.info] [Amazon]
- Jazz Goes to Junior College (Columbia, 1958) [details from brubeck.info]
For some reason, Jazz Goes to Junior College has never been released on CD. I have waited for this CD for years, and judging by comments on Amazon and on AllMusic.com, I’m not the only one wondering why it’s not available.
I am a huge fan of the album — the rendition of “These Foolish Things” (one of my favorite standards) is fantastic (I definitely prefer the one on Junior College compared to Oberlin). (Another of my all-time favorite renditions of the song is on Chet Baker‘s The Italian Sessions from 1962.)
A few months ago, I found a video of the 1959 quartet (Brubeck, Desmond, Morello and Eugene Wright) performing “These Foolish Things” at the University of Rome. It has a somewhat similar feel to the arrangement on Junior College but is unique in its own right, and — as the notes from YouTube user ilbofilms say — there’s a really interesting bass solo from Wright. (Remember, Wright didn’t play on Junior College — Norm Bates was on bass.) I’d love to have it as a separate recording. [Update, August 2008: Thanks to Peggy for pointing out that the YT link no longer works...I found the same video from user pedrohmarques.]
(Alternate link in case you can’t watch it from this page.)