Dave Brubeck

Classic Album Collection

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This is a very strange collection of vintage -- i.e., classic -- Dave Brubeck material. On three discs there are four complete albums: Jazz Goes to Junior College, Jazz Impressions of the U.S.A., Brubeck Plays Brubeck (split over discs two and three), and Dave Digs Disney. The first CD also includes bonus tracks from Jazz Goes to College. Fair enough, but it's very hard to imagine whom a set like this might appeal to. These recordings are not among his most well-known albums (all of these were recorded before 1959), though musically they are quite solid and wonderfully accessible while being provocative, and they certainly had some degree of marketplace -- as well as critical -- success. Hardcore fans will already have them in the remastered versions issued by Legacy. Those unfamiliar with Brubeck will be looking for his breakthrough albums like Time Out and Jazz Impressions of Japan, which were recorded later. Nonetheless, if you are at all curious about deepening your Brubeck shelf, these titles from the mid-'50s featuring the pianist with saxophonist Paul Desmond will no doubt prove fascinating, and even revelatory. They are deeply satisfying and are presented for a very attractive price point.

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