CD Review: The Dave Brubeck Quartet "Their Last Time Out" 1967

May 16, 2012


Music now has some what alienated listeners due to what has seemed to me like random popularity spikes in genres of music. In my age group, I tend to hear a lot of Indie Rock, Hip-Hop, and Electronic music.

With Dave Brubeck’s Quartet and their live performance on the album “Their Last Time Out” (1967), you probably can imagine why someone my age now wouldn’t appreciate music like this. I somewhat empathize with my peers and their music decisions, but there is a time when you hear something can you have to acknowledge its pure talent. Dave Brubeck and his band create music that is more popular to a past time, but given the listening chance by someone my age they would still be able to relate to it’s style and sound.

In the second track of the album (the first is an on stage introduction), I hear a lot of relevant rhythms and relevant patterns in the music compared to today’s material. From my ears, I hear rhythms relevant to hip-hop and a saxophone that is reminiscent of what is now the electric guitar or vocalist on a present-day record. All in all, each instrument solo to me is like a verse on a hip-hop song or a wobble on a Dubstep track.

The performance from Dave Brubeck and his Quartet is over astonishing to my ears. I grew up on commercialized music and even more with hip-hop and I can even remember a time as a kid not enjoying music such as Jazz and I conclude it was just a little too different from what I was used to hearing. Now my opinion is pretty much the opposite. I have slowly realized how much musicians like Dave Brubeck have contributed to the success of musicians we have today. In one way or another you will hear some form of influence Dave Brubeck has had on present day music either in a hip-hop beat or a rock and roll song.

The album consists of Dave Brubeck on piano, Paul Desmond on alto sax, Eugene Wright on Bass, and Joe Morello on the drums. The recording takes place in 1967 Pittsburgh, during a time Jazz was still hot to the public. Sometimes I get lost in the album because of how constant the feeling it gives me stays throughout. The first song, “St. Louis Blues”, is damn catchy and attention grabbing. I immediately move my body to the rhythms as the music travels through my ears, but on songs like “These Foolish Things” I get a little bit more undistracted by the music and can focus on other things. The problem is there is that I personally think a song is more dynamic when much more is going on constantly and performances like “Take The ‘A’ Train” and  “I’m In A Dancing Mood” catch my attention. In fact, my favorite section on the album is when “I’m In A Dancing Mood” breaks down into what sounds like to me a slowed down Drum and Bass beat pattern.

I strongly recommend this album for listening to everyone, as Dave Brubeck is a pioneer of Jazz music and even today’s music. I personally recommend listening to the music at higher volumes because it makes me feel more apart of the band’s performance and because when I hear Jazz at a casual listening level I can’t help to think I’m actually in an elevator or waiting on customer support to answer my call. It’s kind of sad to think that younger people these days won’t give Jazz music such a Dave Brubeck’s a chance because if they did, they would certainly be in for a surprise that would prove their judgments wrong.