Amelia, where you bound for?
"He had a theory that musicians are incredibly complex, and know far less than other artists what they want and what they are; that they puzzle themselves as well as their friends; that their psychology is a modern development, and has not yet been understood." – E. M. Forster

Archive for March 24th, 2008

Monday, 24 March 2008

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:

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, I’m not the only one wondering why it’s not available.

[Update, January 2024: I eventually did find and buy Jazz Goes to Junior College in CD format! It was released as part of a great three-album combo CD on the Avid Entertainment label apparently back in 2009, not too long after I wrote this original post. I bought the CD from Presto Music.]

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 [Update, January 2024: The official Dave Brubeck YouTube channel now has this video, so I’ve updated the outdated link for the second time. Thanks to Peggy back in August 2008 for pointing out that the original YT link (when this post first went up) no longer worked.]

(Alternate link in case you can’t watch it from this page.)

Posted at 12:14 am | Filed under Music to help keep me sane & healthy |