Dave Brubeck

Dialogue for Jazz Combo & Orchestra

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It is surprising that Dave Brubeck has not turned up on more bootleg albums, such as this Ozone LP. The first side is devoted to Howard Brubeck's "Dialogues for Jazz Combo and Orchestra," though it is incorrectly listed as "Musical Montage." This four-movement extended work features the Dave Brubeck Quartet (with Paul Desmond, Eugene Wright, and Joe Morello) accompanied by Leonard Bernstein conducting the New York Philharmonic. The most enduring of the four movements is the second, the very pretty "Andante-Ballad," though it became better known as "Theme for June," a piece revisited by the pianist on a number of occasions. This version is different than the one released by Columbia because it is live, so it may be one of the three December 1959 Carnegie Hall concerts mentioned in the liner notes to the studio recording issued. The remaining two tracks, both of which would later be incorporated into The Real Ambassadors, features Brubeck and Desmond with bassist Norm Bates and drummer Joe Dodge performing live in 1956, with the source being an aircheck of a broadcast from an unidentified New York nightclub. An extended workout of Brubeck's intricate "Two Part-Contention" enables the composer and Desmond to show off their ability to put together elaborate improvisations utilizing counterpoint, while never failing to swing. The cheerful ballad "One Moment Worth Years" is a brisk jazz-waltz which focuses mostly on the composer, though Desmond has a brief solo. The sound of these performances is only average, particularly on the quartet tracks, but serious Brubeck aficionados will want to look for this still-obtainable bootleg LP.