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25th Anniversary Reunion

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25th Anniversary Reunion  - The Classic Quartet Reunion Tour The Classic Quartet Reunion Tour

Label: A&M
Year: 1976
Released on LP: Yes
Released on CD: Yes


1. St. Louis Blues
2. Three to Get Ready
3. African Times Suite: AfricanTime/African Breeze/African Dance
4. Salute to Stephen Foster
5. Take Five
6. Don't Worry 'Bout Me


Dave Brubeck (piano)
Paul Desmond (alto sax)
Eugene Wright (bass)
Joe Morello (drums)
Danny Brubeck (drums)


Recorded live at Interlochen Arts Academy, Interlochen, MI and Scottish Rite Auditorium, Fort Wayne, Indiana.


All Music Guide Review copyright

25th Anniversary Reunion marks a special event for the Dave Brubeck Quartet. Founded in 1951 by the pianist with alto saxophonist Paul Desmond as his lead soloist, the group disbanded in 1967 so Brubeck could focus on composing sacred works. Their reunion with bassist Eugene Wright and drummer Joe Morello, the rhythm section that had gelled for good in the late '50s, was a special occasion, as the quartet toured the U.S. extensively. There were plans to record at the March 12, 1976, concert in Fort Wayne, IN, but Morello noticed a problem during an Interlochen performance and learned he suffered a detached retina, something that caused him to leave the tour immediately, with Dan Brubeck stepping in to fill his big shoes for the remaining concerts.

Fortunately, several venues recorded the reunion concerts, and most of this CD comes from the Interlochen performance, with "Don't Worry 'Bout Me" being the sole track from Fort Wayne. Even though it had been eight years since the quartet last played together prior to the start of the tour, the musicians quickly regained their form, trading quotes in songs, with Desmond's dry, witty solos leading the way. Following a rousing, extended "St. Louis Blues," the altoist cracks everyone up with his quotes in the opening of "Three to Get Ready."

Wright premiered his "African Times Suite," which also gave him an opportunity alternate between playing arco and pizzicato in its introduction. "Take Five" has only one minor problem, as a technician evidently forgot to turn on Desmond's mike at the beginning of the song, leaving his opening notes barely audible, though his inspired soloing, along with the leader's, makes up for this oversight. Dan Brubeck doesn't try to duplicate Morello's sound in "Don't Worry 'Bout Me," but softly backs Desmond and his father on brushes. Sadly, this was the final opportunity to record the quartet, as Desmond died in 1977.

Ken Dryden

Copyright Rovi Corporation

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