Dave Brubeck Quartet: Debut In The Netherlands 1958

First issue for the Netherlands leg of the Brubeck quartet's 1958 European tour, featuring new recruits Eugene Wright and Joe Morello


1958 was the year Dave Brubeck’s quartet toured Europe for the first time and the concerts have been well chronicled by recordings made in England, Germany, Denmark and France. Their Netherlands performance can now be added to the list as this release makes its first appearance.

Eugene Wright and Joe Morello, who had just been recruited, were superior instrumentalists to predecessors like Joe Dodge, Lloyd Davis, Herb Barman, the Bates brothers and Ron Crotty. It should never be forgotten, however, that they had all contributed to the success of some of Brubeck’s most popular early recordings like Jazz At The College Of Pacific, Jazz Goes To College, Jazz At Oberlin and Jazz Red Hot And Cool. These were years too when the quartet had overtaken George Shearing’s quintet as the highest-paid small group on the jazz scene.

The new members have their own features here on The Wright Groove and Watusi Drums which is something a little different as the rhythm section had never previously been presented at such length. This prompted the witty Paul Desmond to observe years later: “You can tell which one is me because when I’m not playing, which is surprisingly often, I’m leaning against the piano.”

The opening Two Part Contention had been premiered on Dave’s 1956 solo album Brubeck Plays Brubeck. An elegant bow to early baroque, it has a formal structure worthy of Johann Sebastian. Miles Davis and Gil Evans had given their seal of approval to The Duke on Miles Ahead a year earlier. With its intriguing series of modulations it is over far too soon here at just over two minutes. Desmond is inspired on These Foolish Things and For All We Know, which were two of his regular ballad features with the quartet.

Two Part Contention; Someday My Prince Will Come; These Foolish Things; One Moment Worth Years; For All We Know; Watusi Drums; The Wright Groove; The Duke; Take The A Train (78.04)
Paul Desmond (as); Brubeck (p); Eugene Wright (b); Joe Morello (d). The Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, 26 November 1958.
The Lost Recordings TLR2204043