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Dave Brubeck Trio - Live from Vienna 1967

Artist : Dave Brubeck
Album : Live From Vienna
Year : 1967
Year of Release : 2022
Label : Brubeck Editions
dave brubeck

Personnel : Dave Brubeck : Piano | Eugene Wright : Bass | Joe Morello : Drums

David Warren Brubeck was born in 1920 in Concord, California and was considered to be one of the leading exponents of 'West Coast Jazz' or 'Cool Jazz'. He had a cult following in the universities amongst others. His style ranged from the 'refined to the experimental' and his mother's classical training was evident in many of his compositions whilst his own improvisational skills were ground braking for superimposing contrasting rhythms, meters and tonalities.

2020 celebrated his 'Centennial Year' and his sons Chris and Dan formed a new label called Brubeck Editions to showcase the great man and his music.

Now in 2022 they are pleased to release a newly discovered recording from the archives which showcases a memorable evening in Vienna in 1967 entitled 'Live From Vienna 1967'.

This evening formed part of what was to be their last European Tour with the usual ensemble of Dave, saxman Paul Desmond, bassist Eugene Wright and drummer Joe Morello who had already performed an exhilarating concert in Hamburg on November 10th 1967, however Paul Desmond met an old friend in Hamburg after the concert and went out on the town subsequently missing the lobby call and flight to Vienna the next day. Therefore despite Dave's belief that Paul might catch a later flight and join up with the band for the concert in Vienna they were challenged to go onstage and perform as a Trio for the evening.

Most jazz musicians 'on tour' will rehearse songs and arrangements in anticipation of the band members, therefore potential soloists, the country and location, the venue, the concert time of day, and perhaps the knowledge and current popularity of recent releases. On this occassion Dave, Eugene and Joe had a short period of time to rehearse and prepare as a Trio and select new arrangements for their repertoire for that evening, a task in which they excelled with distinction.

The selections choosen were W C Handy's St Louis Blues, Dave's own One Moment Worth Years, Stephen Foster's Swanee River featured in the 1931 movie with Grant Withers and Thelma Todd, Dave's own La Paloma Azul (translated to The Blue Dove), Someday My Prince Will Come penned by Larry Morey and Frank Churchill for Disney's animated movie Snowhite And The Seven Dwarfs, and later cemented in history by Miles Davis for Columbia Records in 1961, and finally Billy Strayhorn's Take The A Train immortalized by Duke Ellington in 1939.

However as always Dave Brubeck's innovation and improvization created arrangements which amazed and mesmorized the audience in our own Wiener Konzerthaus here in Austria whose director at that time Peter Weiser was more akin to holding symphony concerts to capacity crowds in the Grosser Saal section of the 1,800 seater building. Vienna is the epicentre of world's Waltz following and has a huge Classical music culture so I anticipate that many in the audience that evening would in fact be 'newbies to jazz music'.

Creating a different type of show 'on the fly' might have proved difficult to others but Dave Brubeck was the consummate professional and he and the rhythm section were so unified, assured and experienced that they rose to the challenge with a dynamism and verve that would not only entertain their paying guests and the jazz aficionados, but also those in the audience who might be hearing live jazz music for the very first time.

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Dave Brubeck Trio - Live from Vienna 1967

1967 was an era when jazz music was in fact in decline and 'Flower Power' was prominent as a symbol of passive resistance and a non-violence ideology, however Dave's Time Out album from 1959 had yielded a much larger following worldwide than he had previously anticipated so this evening would highlight to the assembled attendees his professionalism, dexterity, knowledge and ability to adapt in person.

Unlike Pop music of the day which spawned radio singles of just three minutes, jazz music has always been synonymous with extended tracks and live performances and Live from Vienna 1967 highlights the stamina and focus of the band with a 10.11 minute version of One Moment Worth Years, a 08.56 minute version of St Louis Blues and a 07.38 minute of Swanee River, the composition of all three tracks comprises of solos and interplay which is truly magnificent. Like other great piano jazz trios such as from Bill Evans, Oscar Peterson, Kenny Barron, Kenny Drew, and from the modern day era - the late great Beegie Adair, there is 'nowhere to hide' and this Dave Brubeck Trio entertained the audience who were mostly oblivious to the missing Paul Desmond.

The other tracks in the evening included the sultry self Brubeck penned La Paloma Azul which meanders like a flowing mountain stream on a cool summer's morning.

The uptempo crowd pleaser Someday My Prince Will Come steals the show as the Viennese would be more familiar to Waltzing to this piece during their famous New Year's Concert held on January 1st each year.

Concluding a memorable night is Billy Strayhorn's Take The A Train which jazz fans will no doubt recognize from the Duke Ellington's version, this supercharged masterpiece rendition covers 'all along the waterfront' by Dave, Eugene and Joe with a walking piano bass cleft synchronized to the upright bass with interplay drum solos emphazizing this familiar melody, but unmistakenly - à la jazz.

In conclusion those who witnessed this extraordinary evening by the Dave Brubeck Trio in 1967 would fall into two catagories, the first of which would be the true blue jazz fans which had anticipated and expected non other than perfection from these great musicians, and secondly those who ventured to a jazz concert with an open mind and their voyage of discovery was rewarded with a new respect for jazz and an unforgettable admiration for the musicians on show.

Dave Brubeck Trio - Live From Vienna 1967 will be released as a CD on April 15th 2022 and as an LP Vinyl Record on April 23rd 2022 on the Brubeck Editions label. Available at all of the usual music outlets.

Review by Wes George
Jazz Historian & JazzNet247 Host
(Wes is a former Webmaster, PR & Marketer with major label Sony Jazz)

Similar Artists - Bill Evans, Thelonious Monk, Kenny Barron, Oscar Peterson, Kenny Drew, Count Basie, Herbie Hancock, Diana Krall, Lennie Tristano, Beegie Adair

Previously : Julie London
Next Time : Art Blakey - Moanin'

* Also see :- The History Of Jazz
* Also see :- Louis Armstrong Biography
* Also see :- Dave Brubeck Biography
* Also see :- John Hammond Biography
* Also see :- Nica de Koenigswarter Biography
* Also see :- 52nd Street
* Also see :- Tin Pan Alley
* Also see :- The Bossa Nova Story

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