| Jazz Icons: Dave Brubeck boasts two beautifully filmed concerts from one of the most beloved quartets in jazz history. Captured at the pinnacle of their power and popularity, Paul Desmond (alto sax), Joe Morello (drums), Eugene Wright (bass) and Dave Brubeck (piano) explore the trails they blazed into the realm of odd time signatures with "Forty Days" and two versions of their groundbreaking hit "Take Five", as well as forays into world music with two unique interpretations of "Koto Song". Their intimate onstage chemistry and impeccable musicianship made the DBQ an award-winning jazz supergroup.”
Aside from its music, which is among the best I have heard in hundreds of hours of listening to the classic Dave Brubeck Quartet, this DVD reveals an essential element of the band’s huge success. Concert audiences made the Brubeck group a phenomenon, at first on college campuses, then in the world at large, and those audiences could see the genuine esteem and fondness Brubeck, Desmond, Wright and Morello had for one another.
Without a trace of artifice or overt showmanship, the four radiated the enjoyment they got from playing together. It was infectious. People who may not have known a quarter note from a mouthpiece were captivated as they shared in the quartet’s naturalness and ease within the creative process.
Listen to the staid German audience come alive when they recognize the 5/4 vamp that introduces “Take Five.” By the mid-’60s, the band’s single record of the piece had sold more than a million copies and a time signature unusual to jazz had become water the quartet swam in. They played “Take Five” every night for nearly a decade, never the same way twice, and it got better as time went by. If you wish to see 5/4 time, watch for the shot of Dave’s heel keeping it—1,2,3-1,2; 1,2,3-1,2.
I wonder if he sleeps in 5/4. - Doug Ramsey
Liner notes by Darius Brubeck
Foreword by Doug Ramsey
Cover photo by Gus Schuettler
Booklet photos by Chuck Stewart, Lee Tanner, Jan Persson,
Susanne Schapowalow, Ray Avery
Total time: 67 minutes