Dave Brubeck

The Gates of Justice

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Written in the wake of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination, Dave Brubeck's second religious concert work -- actually a cantata -- finds his outlook darkening as he contemplates the historic struggles of Jews and blacks. Yet he remains optimistic about his overarching theme, the brotherhood of man. This is a more violent piece than The Light In the Wilderness, the music at first anchored in abrasive Hebraic modes, then somber Negro spirituals, and gradually, everything but the kitchen sink gets tossed into the mix in the wild "The Lord Is Good" segment. The then-current Brubeck Trio with Jack Six (bass) and Alan Dawson (drums) is on hand, though even Dave's fervent aficionados may be jarred by his polytonal playing of an out-of-tune rock combo organ, and Erich Kunzel ably conducts a brass ensemble from Cincinnati and the New York-based Westminster Choir. While the music of Gates isn't quite as consistent as that of Wilderness, the vitality of Brubeck's writing sees the work through. This LP awaits a CD reissue, even though Brubeck still performs the work frequently in concert.

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