1951: Dave Brubeck Quartet Discography

In the summer of 1951, Dave Brubeck formed his first quartet.  With Paul Desmond as a constant on alto sax and Herb Barman holding down the drum chair, bass players came and went.  Two bassists that stayed long enough to get recorded with the group include Fred Dutton (who also doubled on bassoon) and Wyatt “Bull” Ruther.  The Dave Brubeck Quartet, or Dave Brubeck and His Trio as they were still occasionally billed, garnered a lot of attention through their live appearances at clubs up and down the West Coast.  Brubeck had previously recorded his trio with Fantasy Records, an independent record label based in San Francisco, CA, and now Fantasy began to record and release the first offerings from Brubeck’s quartet. 

Paul Desmond (alto sax), Herb Barman (drums), Wyatt Ruther (bass), and Dave Brubeck (piano)

Dave Brubeck Quartet

  • Fantasy 3-5 (10-inch LP)
  • Recorded: August and November 1951 in San Francisco, CA
  • Released: 1951-1952


  • Dave Brubeck-  Piano
  • Paul Desmond-  Alto Sax
  • Fred Dutton-  Bassoon & Bass (#’s 1-3)
  • Wyatt “Bull” Ruther-  Bass (#’s 4-8)

Track Listing

  1. Somebody Loves Me – 3:18
  2. Crazy Chris – 3:19
  3. A Foggy Day – 3:07
  4. Lyons Busy -3:12
  5. Mam’selle – 2:50
  6. Me And My Shadow – 2:26
  7. At A Perfume Counter – 2:50
  8. Frenesi – 2:35

Released initially by Fantasy as a series of 78rpm 10-inch shellac discs (Fantasy 517, 518, 519 & 520) in late 1951 and early 1952, these recordings represent the first offerings from the Dave Brubeck Quartet.  Fantasy grouped these early recordings together and released them as a 10-inch record in 1952.  Pressings were made on black vinyl as well as on translucent red and blue vinyl.

 Dave Brubeck: Modern Complex Dialogues

  • Alto 711
  • Also released as Rare Radio Recordings 1953, 1954 Sandy Hook Records SH 2064 (Vinyl and CD) and as Birdland 1951-1952 / Newport 1955 on Solar 4569967 (CD) with bonus material recorded years later.
  • Recorded:  (Tracks 1-10) 15 and 22 December, 1951 at Birdland, New York City, NY and (Tracks 11-12) 22 and 24 January, 1952 at Storyville in Boston, MA
  • Released: ?


  • Dave Brubeck-  Piano
  • Paul Desmond-  Alto Sax (Except on 2 & 6)
  • Wyatt “Bull” Ruther-  Bass
  • Herb Barman-  Drums

Track Listing:

  1. At A Perfume Counter – 2:32
  2. That Old Black Magic – 2:24
  3. How High The Moon – 3:49
  4. Jeepers Creepers – 2:09
  5. Crazy Chris – 2:46
  6. Spring Is Here – 2:00
  7. Stardust – 3:28
  8. This Can’t Be Love – 3:20
  9. These Foolish Things – 2:49
  10. Lyons Busy (mislabeled variously as “Jingle Bells” or “Jeepers Creepers #2”) – 2:49
  11. Tea For Two – 4:45
  12. I’ll Remember April – 4:32

Originally released on 12-in vinyl. These historic bootleg recordings represent the earliest live recordings from the Dave Brubeck Quartet, capturing the group on their first appearance on the East Coast.  The Birdland tracks are allegedly made up of two broadcasts, the first three from 15 December and next seven tracks from 22 December.  If true, this album neatly contains the music heard on their opening and closing nights during their initial week run at Birdland jazz club in New York.  The last two tracks are from two separate radio broadcasts from Boston’s Storyville jazz club.  These tracks were initially released on bootleg records and then as CDs.  The original source is most-likely Boris Rose’s collection, as the ‘Alto’ record label was his.

Image result for rare radio recordings 1953, 1954 dave brubeck

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