Dave Brubeck Jazz Goes to College (1954)

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Classic Rock Review

From allaboutjazz.com

It’s out again, and affordable. But shame on Sony/Columbia for ignoring this essential recording for twenty years, resulting in prohibitive collectors’ prices. This was Brubeck-Desmond’s greatest period, before the comparatively sterile, more formulaic studio albums, includingTime Out(Columbia, 1959). And shame on those (including this writer) who ever dismissed this recording as too white, too fay, too square, too distant from the “authentic” jazz tradition. The music is squarely in the tradition—soulful, in the moment, unrepeatable.

As far as the 1950s public was concerned, two alto players mattered: Charlie Parker and Paul Desmond; and after Bird’s death in 1955, only Desmond and Julian Adderley. Although Desmond occasionally reaches higher on the earlier At Oberlin (Fantasy, 1953), Jazz Goes to College, which is the group’s first recording for Columbia records, is above all his date—a consistently stirring testimonial to an artistry that remains sui generis.

Desmond’s solo on…

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Author: Whipped Owl

Writer Musician Historian Sportsman Loner

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