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Summit Sessions

Summit Sessions - Albym cover

Label: Columbia
Year: 1970
Released on LP: Yes
Released on CD: No


1. That Old Black Magic
2. Raga Theme For Raghu
3. Men Of Old
4. C Jam Blues
5. Our Time Of Parting
6. Blues In The Dark
7. Allegro Blues
8. Because All Men Are Brothers
9. Non-Sectarian Blues
10. Trav'lin' Blues
11. Theme For Jobim
12. Lonesome / Summer Song
13. Koto Song


Dave Brubeck (piano, electric piano)
Paul Desmond (alto sax)
Jack Six (bass)
Joe Morello (drums)
Eugene Wright (bass)
Alan Dawson (drums)
Ben Riley (drums)
Bill Crofut (banjo,vocals)
Darius Brubeck (piano, vina)
Larry Gales (bass)
Louis Armstrong (vocals)
Gerry Mulligan (baritone sax)
Jimmy Rushing (vocals)
Palghat Raghu (mridangam)
New York Philharmonic (orchestra)
Peter, Paul & Mary (guitars,vocals)
Steve Addiss (guitars,vocals)
Thelonious Monk (piano)
Tony Bennett (vocals)
Leonard Bernstein (conductor)


1. Never released on CD.

2. Recorded at various dates and venues throughout the 1960's.

Artists per track

1. Tony Bennett
2. Palghat Raghu
3. Steve Adiss & Bill Crofut
4. Thelonius Monk
5. Darius Brubeck
6. Jimmy Rushing
7. Leonard Bernstein & New York Philharmonic
8. Peter, Paul & Mary
9. Carmen McRae
10. Carmen McRae
11. Gerry Mulligan, Alan Dawson, Jack Six
12. Louis Armstrong
13. Paul Desmond, Joe Morello, Eugene Wright


All Music Guide - Copyright

It would not be an understatement to say that these 13 performances, mostly dating from the 1960s, cover quite a bit of ground. Brubeck is heard with such performers as Tony Bennett, Indian percussionist Palghat Raghu, the folk team of Addiss & Crofut, in a remarkable piano duet with Thelonious Monk on "C Jam Blues," with son Darius Brubeck on second piano, on "Blues in the Dark" with singer Jimmy Rushing and in separate recordings with Peter, Paul & Mary, Charles Mingus, Carmen McRae, Gerry Mulligan, Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic and Louis Armstrong. There's quite a lot of contrast on this largely successful LP.

Scott Yanow

© Copyright All About Jazz

Review of Dave Brubeck and Charles Mingus – “Non-Sectarian Blues”. - The Daily Record - Copyright

The unlikely pairing of Dave Brubeck and Charles Mingus at a London film studio should have been a collision of worlds on par with the big bang.

In the early sixties, Brubeck was rewriting the jazz songbook with his legendary quartet that featured Paul Desmond, drummer Joe Morello and bass player Eugene Wright. Signed to Columbia Records, home to both Miles Davis and Doris Day, their “cool jazz” was both critically acclaimed and extremely accessible. In other words, it was jazz both hardcore fans and housewives could appreciate.

Charles Mingus, on the other hand, was the dark prince from the underbelly of the genre. His dense, avant-garde approach carried discordant melodies and boasted nearly impenetrable titles like “Pithecanthropus Erectus” and “If Charlie Parker Were a Gunslinger, There’d Be a Whole Lot of Dead Copycats.” He was on the threshold of a three-album deal with Impulse Records, the jazz label John Coltrane helped transform into the bastion of cutting-edge, experimental music.

Although Mingus and Brubeck’s music was world apart, the bassman and pianist first crossed paths in the post-War San Francisco jazz scene. The two met again in 1962 at Pinewood Studios in London.

The unfathomable union of Brubeck and Mingus occurred under the most commercial circumstances. Brubeck had been hired to write the score for “All Night Long,” a modern telling of “Othello” starring Richard Attenborough. In the liner notes to the 1991 Brubeck box set “Time Changes,” he describes their encounter.

“My contract for the film specified I would not play with Charlie Mingus, because I knew how demanding Charlie could be and I just wanted to avoid it. It was out of respect,” Brubeck said.

“And fear,” he added.

Mingus, who had also been hired to score certain scenes, kept bugging the director to play with Brubeck. Finally, Brubeck relented – with three stipulations: no rehearsal, no synching and no overdubbing. Everything had to be live and off-the-cuff.

With those rules in place, the pair decided upon a Mingus composition. “Non-Sectarian Blues” begins with Mingus thumping borrowed bass, walking the beat as Brubeck joins in on the piano. Mingus can be heard grunting and shouting encouragement to Brubeck as the pair play off each other with staccato piano riffs and pulsing, aggressive baselines. The result is so natural and engaging it’s hard to believe these men came from such seemingly disparate camps.

Although the song was recorded in1962, the performance remained unheard outside theaters until the Brubeck collection “Summit Sessions” was released in 1971.

“When it was over, Charlie picked me up off the floor and gave me a bear hug,” Brubeck said. “It was wonderful.”

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