Dave Brubeck

For All Time (Columbia / Legacy)

Reissues

Dave Brubeck

For All Time (Columbia/Legacy) In April 2004, octogenarians Dave & Iola Brubeck were lauded for their lifetimes' work in social justice by Archbishop Desmond Tutu. This for the guy accused of Europifying jazz and dismissed as too white, too Jewish, too intellectual to swing. Brubeck's appearance as Time's "New Jazz" cover boy in 1954 still inflames today as a racist ploy to paint jazz in whiteface. But the Dave Brubeck Quartet, responsible for the biggest-selling jazz single ever, "Take Five," refused to play gigs during those racially tumultuous times unless bassman Eugene Wright was accepted and black fans allowed admission to the show. Now come Columbia/Legacy's 5-CD reissues of time-themed LPs from jazz's great white ambassador. The historic Time Out ("Take Five," "Blue Rondo a la Turk"), rife with DBQ's signature nontrad time signatures, has been in print since its 1959 release. Conversely, '65's Time In, the last in the series, is a fresh reissue, featuring convincing evidence that Brubeck's compositional eloquence bridges the polytonal mastery of Liszt and Debussy, the improv mania of Miles and Coltrane, the elegant urban wilderness of maestros Copland, Ellington, and Bernstein, with the counterpoint of deep African polyrhythm. In between are the equally compelling Time Changes, featuring the 16:35 contrapuntal masterpiece, "Elementals"; Countdown: Time in Outer Space; and Time Further Out, highlighted by sensual, brooding heart-wrenchers like "Bluette" and "Blue Shadows in the Street" alongside thundering tympanic techno-odes like "Countdown." The set's booklets are thoughtfully consistent, each disc reprinting original liner notes, enhanced by current reflections, context, and stories courtesy of Bru himself. This set proves, if nothing else, Dave Brubeck's keen ability to make jazz accessible, yet no less challenging, and illustrates the silver-lined luminescence his music added to the black-and-white issues of his day.

****

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