- Body and Soul
- Easy to Love
- What Will I Tell My Heart?
- On the Sunny Side of the Street
- The Things You Never Remember
- Broadway Bossa Nova
- Don't Worry 'Bout Me
- Take Five
The stockpile of unreleased recordings by Dave Brubeck grew during the 1990s, as Telarc would plan CDs and then change its mind about the order in which to release various titles by the veteran pianist. So this two-CD set is by no means a compilation of leftover material, but some of his finest work during that decade. The first disc consists of songs recorded during the second half of two 1995 concerts in Washington, D.C.'s National Cathedral (music from the first half of these concerts appeared the CD of Brubeck's Mass, To Hope! A Celebration), emphasizing material that the quartet had not played previously. Brubeck's haunting impressionistic introduction to "Body and Soul" is followed by Bobby Militello's lyrical alto sax solo (following in the footsteps of longtime alto saxophonist Paul Desmond). Brubeck's staccato introduction to "Cherokee" is reminiscent of his composition "Pange Lingua March" because he voices it with open fourths and fifths while playing in a different key with each hand (with no net before a live audience); after a turbulent Militello solo, the master pianist shows off his own considerable chops. "What Will I Tell My Heart?" is one of the most surprising tracks, since few musicians actively play this old chestnut; the rollicking interpretation of "On the Sunny Side of the Street" and warm treatment of "Don't Worry 'Bout Me" are also enjoyable. Brubeck revisits his own "Broadway Boss Nova," written for the short-lived television series Mr. Broadway in the early '60s, as well as a more recent work, the poignant ballad "The Things You Never Remember" and the inevitable "Take Five" that is automatically expected by audiences at every Brubeck concert, showcasing drummer Randy Jones, a fixture in the quartet since 1976. The second disc contains selections from the quartet's 1998 tour of Great Britain. "Margie" is another overlooked piece of nostalgia that Brubeck chose from the thousands of tunes stored in his colossal memory (much to the surprise of his group, though they catch on in a hurry). The remaining material will be familiar to those who saw Brubeck in concert during the 1990s: his always humorous "Three to Get Ready," his swinging tribute to another veteran pianist and old friend "Marian McPartland," a longer "Take Five" that is even more exhilarating than the 1995 version, and a delightful romp through "Take the 'A' Train" which showcases his then-new bassist Alec Dancworth's great chops. Of course, the master always has something new up his sleeve since he composes almost daily, although "Be Natural Blues" was so new not even Brubeck had played it previously. An added bonus is that this two-CD set is being sold by Telarc for the price of a single CD. Highly recommended.
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