1954: Dave Brubeck Discography

If 1953 was a banner year for the Brubeck quartet, 1954 was a year seismic proportions. Having left the independent record label Fantasy for industry-giant Columbia Records at the beginning of the year, Brubeck was ready for big leagues. In November of 1954, America met the Dave Brubeck Quartet after Time Magazine featured Brubeck on the front cover.


This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is DB_JGTC_2400_grande.jpg

Jazz Goes To College

  • Columbia CL 566
  • Reissued on CD as Columbia CK 45149
  • Recorded:  March 1954 at (Tracks 1, 4-7) at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, (Track 2) at the University of Cincinnati, Ohio & (Track 3) at Oberlin College, Oberlin, OH.
  • Released:  June 1954

Personnel:

  • Dave Brubeck-  Piano
  • Paul Desmond-  Alto Sax
  • Bob Bates-  Bass
  • Joe Dodge-  Drums

Track Listing:

  1. Balcony Rock – 11:55
  2. Out of Nowhere – 8:04
  3. Le Souk – 4:36
  4. Take The ‘A’ Train – 6:11
  5. The Song Is You – 5:38
  6. Don’t Worry ‘Bout Me – 8:47
  7. I Want To Be Happy – 6:36

Released as a 12-inch album by Columbia on conventional black vinyl, this was Brubeck’s debut on Columbia Records.  It continued the tried-and-proven success of Brubeck’s other live college concert albums on Fantasy.  This was also bassist Bob Bates’ recording debut.  “Le Souk” was a spontaneous improvisational performance by Desmond; as the song progresses, it appears that the tune is based on the slightly modified chord changes of “Let’s Fall In Love” in a slightly modified minor key.  Brubeck gets off one of his best Brubeckian piano solos here, complete with loudly-tapping foot. “The Song Is You” is a tour de force from Desmond.


Priceless Editions

  • Columbia 4-PE 12
  • Recorded:  March 1954 at Storyville, Boston, MA
  • Released:  Summer of 1954

Personnel:

  • Dave Brubeck-  Piano
  • Paul Desmond-  Alto Sax
  • Bob Bates-  Bass
  • Joe Dodge-  Drums

Track Listing:

  1. Don’t Worry ‘Bout Me (Part 1)
  2. Don’t Worry ‘Bout Me (Part 2) – 6:20 in total

This extremely rare recording was released by Columbia during the summer of 1954 as part of a promotion.  It was not for sale, but rather offered for a limited time for free by local record stores.  In the liner notes to Brubeck’s Columbia album Dave Brubeck At Storyville: 1954, George Avakian wrote that the recording used for this Priceless Editions promotion was from Brubeck’s March 1954 concert at the University of Cincinnati, Ohio.  However… SPECIAL NOTE: Upon listening to the track, it’s evident that this is not a college concert recording at all, but a night club.  Further study reveals that this track comes from the same radio broadcast that made up part of the Storyville album on Columbia.  Somehow somebody got things mixed up.  This track is only available on this hard-to-find promotional 7-inch 45rpm disc.


This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is R-5497048-1395336345-4464.jpeg.jpg

Dave Brubeck At Storyville:  1954

  • Columbia CL 590
  • Recorded:  (Tracks 1-2) December 1953 or January 1954, (Tracks 4,6) 30 March, 1954 at Storyville, Boston, MA and (Tracks 3,5) 22 July, 1954 in Los Angeles, CA
  • Released:  October 1954

Personnel:

  • Dave Brubeck-  Piano
  • Paul Desmond-  Alto Sax
  • Ron Crotty-  Bass (1-2)
  • Bob Bates-  Bass (3-6)
  • Joe Dodge-  Drums

Track Listing:

  1. On The Alamo – 10:43
  2. Don’t Worry ‘Bout – 6:50
  3. Here Lies Love – 5:48
  4. Gone With The Wind – 8:15
  5. When You’re Smiling – 9:50
  6. Back Bay Blues – 6:28

Released by Columbia as a 12-inch LP as well as a two volume set of 10-inch albums and a series of 7-inch 45rpm EPs.  A variety of dates have been supplied for these recordings.  Some sources say the first two tracks were recorded in December 1953, while others say January 18 and 24 respectively.  Ron Crotty left the group by the end of February 1954, so either of these dates could be accurate.  Like the Fantasy albums, this album is an amalgam of different live recordings sourced from radio broadcasts (tracks 3-6) and an amateur tape machine (1-2).  The announcer on track 6 is John McLellan.


This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is R-1542782-1329083018.jpeg.jpg

Brubeck Time

  • Columbia CL 622
  • On CD:  Columbia/Legacy CK 65724; Interchanges ’54 as Columbia/Legacy CK 47032
  • Recorded:  Tracks 1, 2, 7 recorded 12 October, 1954; tracks 5, 8 recorded 13 October 1954; tracks 3, 4 recorded 14 October 1954, all in New York City; track 6 recorded 10 November, 1954 in Los Angeles, CA
  • Released:  February 1955

Personnel:

  • Dave Brubeck-  Piano
  • Paul Desmond-  Alto Sax
  • Bob Bates-  Bass
  • Joe Dodge-  Drums

Track Listing:

  1. Audrey – 3:33
  2. Jeepers Creepers – 4:58
  3. Pennies From Heaven – 6:13
  4. Why Do I Love You – 5:13
  5. Stompin’ For Mili – 5:19
  6. Keepin’ Out of Mischief Now – 5:04
  7. A Fine Romance – 3:49
  8. Brother, Can You Spare A Dime – 5:21

This album marked Brubeck’s first studio recording for Columbia and his first studio album since 1952.  The music on this album is excellent, with many high many points, from Brubeck’s swinging solo on “Pennies From Heaven” to Desmond coughing mid-solo and picking it right back up without a hitch on “A Fine Romance”.  SPECIAL NOTE:  The Interchanges ’54 CD was poorly remastered and sloppily edited, resulting in airy sound overall and missing beats in “Why Do I Love You”.  In 2011, Sony released this album as part of a boxed set of Brubeck’s studio albums.  Sony not only corrected these issues but released the full unedited takes to some of the tracks as well.  For instance, “Why Do I Love You” adds a full chorus to the end of Brubeck’s solo and includes Brubeck’s intro to “Stompin’ For Mili”.


333333

I Like Jazz

  • Columbia JZ 1
  • Recorded: 12 October, 1954 in New York City
  • Released:  1955

Personnel:

  • Dave Brubeck-  Piano
  • Paul Desmond-  Alto Sax
  • Bob Bates-  Bass
  • Joe Dodge-  Drums

Track Listing:

  1. Makin’ Time – 3:50

This was a sampler album released by Columbia in 1955 with many previously unreleased tracks.  The Dave Brubeck Quartet was represented with one track from their Brubeck Time sessions, a second take on the blues that was recorded soon after the track that became “Audrey”.  Entitled “Makin’ Time”, this take is less romantic and introspective than “Audrey”, with more bite and drive from Desmond and a slightly quicker tempo overall.  Unfortunately, this track only saw release buried on this sampler album and has yet to be released on any other format.


This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Helena-Rubenstein-.jpg

Helena Rubinstein Jazz

  • Columbia JPA 52114/5
  • Recorded:  12 October, 1954 in New York City, NY
  • Released:  Late 1954

Personnel:

  • Dave Brubeck-  Piano
  • Paul Desmond-  Alto Sax
  • Bob Bates-  Bass
  • Joe Dodge-  Drums

Track Listing:

  1. Audrey (Incomplete)

Released by Columbia as part of a joint promotion with cosmetic company Helena Rubinstein, the vibrant red-orange color of the record was intended to match the lipstick color ‘Red Hot and Cool’ that Helena Rubinstein was marketing.  It was pressed as a 6-inch 78rpm disc.  There’s only an excerpt of “Audrey” to be heard here.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s