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The Essential Dave Brubeck

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Album Review

It's hard to summarize the highlights of a career as long and prolific as Dave Brubeck's in a two-CD compilation. If you're going to settle for that, however, The Essential Dave Brubeck is a good job, spanning 1949 to 2002, with 76 minutes of music on each disc. Although a few of these tracks were drawn from his early Fantasy recordings and his later Concord/MusicMasters/Telarc discs, the overwhelming bulk of them come from his days at Columbia from the mid-'50s through the late '60s. "Take Five" is here, of course, as are some of his better- known recordings, like "Blue Rondo a La Turk," "Take the 'A' Train" (a live 1954 performance), "Audrey," and "Some Day My Prince Will Come" (from the Dave Digs Disney album). Overall it spotlights the pianist in a variety of settings — live, solo piano ("In Your Sweet Way" and "Weep No More," from Brubeck Plays Brubeck); interpreting West Side Story; bopping, balladeering, bossa nova, with strings; or backing vocalists Louis Armstrong, Carmen McRae, Jimmy Rushing, and Tony Bennett. In fact, no less than a couple dozen albums are sampled over the course of the 31 discs, making this an admirably wide-ranging sampler of Brubeck's work, focusing on his earlier and most important efforts.

Customer Reviews


The mastering of the CD is remarkable. I played Brubeck on the radio years ago and this CD is a must-have for any jazz fan and music lover.

Great smooth jazz

I was in a musical and Dave Brubeck was the piano player. He also wrote, and composed it. I met him after the show and he was very nice. The other day I was in a cd store and found this cd. I was shocked he was this popular! I didn't get the cd cause I wanted to sample it first, and it's the exact same jazz genre I like. Thanks Dave, without meeting you I wouldn't have known about this cd.

This man and his music shall always be cherished

Ever since I first heard him on the Jazz channel on Music Choice, I can’t get enough of him. The improvisation on each song is the name of the game! Dave Brubeck’s the Prince of Jazz, along with Buddy Bolden who’s the KING!


Born: December 6, 1920 in Concord, CA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

In the 1950s and '60s, few American jazz artists were as influential, and fewer still were as popular, as Dave Brubeck. At a time when the cooler sounds of West Coast jazz began to dominate the public face of the music, Brubeck proved there was an audience for the style far beyond the confines of the in-crowd, and with his emphasis on unusual time signatures and adventurous tonalities, Brubeck showed that ambitious and challenging music could still be accessible. And as rock & roll began to dominate...
Full Bio
The Essential Dave Brubeck, Dave Brubeck
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  • Partial Album
  • Genres: Jazz, Music, Bop, Hard Bop, Vocal Jazz
  • Released: Mar 11, 2003

Customer Ratings