The Boots Mussulli Quartet // Boots Mussulli (Capitol T-6506)

The Music

Tune:  “Mutt and Jeff” Continue reading

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The Last Time We Saw Paris // Dave Brubeck (Columbia CS 9672)

On this day fifty years ago (well, it was the 13th when I wrote this), the Dave Brubeck Quartet played their last European concert.  Luckily, the music made that night was recorded and pressed onto wax. Continue reading

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Lennie Niehaus, Vol.1- “The Quintets” // Lennie Niehaus (Contemporary C3518)

Talking to a friend after class the other day, she made a comment that I looked like the type to play cello in a jazz band.  That made me think about West Coast jazz and how funny her comment was in that context, which led me to a hankering for some West Coast jazz.  The next few posts are a result of that hankering. Continue reading

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Audrey- A Musical Appreciation

One of the most famous tunes Paul Desmond ‘wrote’ was a song named ‘Audrey’.  Paul had a big crush on Audrey Hepburn, and at a recording session in 1954, he and the Brubeck Quartet improvised a minor blues with her in mind.  In the ensuing years, the Dave Brubeck Quartet would occasionally return to the song in live performances.  One of the aspects of the song that makes it such a beguiling and moving piece of music is the tag at the end, where the band moves from a minor key to a major key and Paul plays a haunting line that takes the song out.  Continue reading

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For All We Know – Desmond’s Quotes and Brubeck’s Notes

This edition of ‘Desmond’s Quotes’ is special for a couple of reasons.  First of all, it kicks off a new series entitled ‘Brubeck’s Notes’, which sets out to spotlight performances where Dave Brubeck weaves his own quotative magic.  Second of all, this post highlights one of Brubeck’s most inspired moments ever captured on tape. Continue reading

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All Night Session Vol. 1 // Hampton Hawes (Contemporary C3545)

The Music

Hampton Hawes, a fellow Californian, may be closely tied to West Coast jazz, but there’s nothing cool or relaxed about his playing.  Especially on this series of records, his playing sounds more like a horn, spitting out line after line of percussive piano.  Only the easy swing and the presence of Jim Hall’s laid-back guitar remind you that this was recorded on the Best Coast (no typo). Continue reading

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Desmond Vs. Drums, or Adventures in Tinky-Boom

After a lengthy spell of no posts, I found some time to write.  I won’t say free time, because if I do, an assignment will suddenly appear.  While sitting in a particularly boring lecture the other day, I began to think about Paul Desmond’s public and private spats with drummers in Brubeck’s quartets. Continue reading

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