The Dave Brubeck Quartet – Jazz At Oberlin (1953/2003)
DSF 2.0 Mono DSD64/2.82MHz | Time – 00:37:58 minutes | 1,5 GB | Genre: Jazz
Source: ISO SACD | © Fantasy Records
Recorded live in Finney Chapel, Oberlin College in Ohio, March 2, 1953.
Jazz at Oberlin is a live album by the Dave Brubeck Quartet. It was recorded in the Finney Chapel at Oberlin College in March 1953, and released on Fantasy Records as F 3245.
Critic Nat Hentoff wrote in Down Beat magazine that the album ranks with the College of the Pacific and Storyville sets “as the best of Brubeck on record”, and jazz critic Gary Giddins has written that it would “make many short lists of the decade’s outstanding albums”.
The concert is credited with making jazz a legitimate field of musical study at Oberlin, but it and the album did much more than that. The album is further credited with initiating making jazz a subject of serious intellectual attention in a listening-centric environment; Wendell Logan, the chair of Oberlin’s Jazz Studies Department, described it as “the watershed event that signaled the change of performance space for jazz from the nightclub to the concert hall”.
In addition, it was one of the early works in the cool jazz stream of jazz; The Guardian’s John Fordham wrote that it “indicated new directions for jazz that didn’t slavishly mirror bebop, and even hinted at free-jazz piano techniques still years away from realisation”; he further observed that it “marked Brubeck’s eager adoption by America’s (predominantly white) youth – a welcome that soon extended around the world … for a rhythmically intricate instrumental jazz”.
Although a touch underrated, Jazz at Oberlin is one of the early Dave Brubeck classic recordings. The interplay between the pianist-leader and altoist Paul Desmond on “Perdido” borders on the miraculous, and their renditions of “The Way You Look Tonight,” “How High the Moon” and “Stardust” are quite memorable. Brubeck’s piano playing on “These Foolish Things” is so percussive and atonal in one spot as to sound like Cecil Taylor, who would not emerge for another two years. With bassist Ron Crotty and drummer Lloyd Davis giving the Quartet quiet and steady support, Brubeck and Desmond were free to play at their most adventurous. Highly recommended. –Scott Yanow
1 These Foolish Things (Remind Me Of You) 6:30
2 Perdido 7:45
3 Stardust 6:25
4 The Way You Look Tonight 7:47
5 How High The Moon 9:03
Dave Brubeck – piano
Paul Desmond – alto saxophone
Lloyd Davis – drums
Ron Crotty – bass