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6 Degrees Entertainment

Title - Live from Vienna, 1967
Artist - Dave Brubeck Trio

For those not in the know, Brubeck Editions is thrilled to announce the release of Dave Brubeck Trio’s Live from Vienna, 1967, the newly discovered recording of the extraordinary evening when the iconic Dave Brubeck Quartet was forced to take the stage as a trio.

This electrifying album marks the only recording of jazz luminary Dave Brubeck, celebrated drummer Joe Morello and acclaimed bassist Eugene Wright performing in a trio context.

During this performance at Vienna’s famed Konzerthaus, the pared-down instrumentation proves only to exemplify the genius of Brubeck and his legendary rhythm section.

This historical release will drop as a compact disc on April 15th, 2022, followed by a special LP release on April 23rd, 2022 for Record Store Day.

1. St. Louis Blues (W. C. Handy, Arr. by Dave Brubeck) (8:55)
2. One Moment Worth Years (Dave Brubeck) (10:10)
3. Swanee River (S. Foster, Arr. by Dave Brubeck) (7:37)
4. La Paloma Azul (Traditional, Arr. by Dave Brubeck) (6:09)
5. Someday My Prince Will Come (F. Churchill & L. Morey) (5:28)
6. Take the A Train (B. Strayhorn) (4:16)

This brilliantly vibrant, and wholeheartedly genuine piece of true musical art, opens on a spirited take on St. Louis Blues where for chorus after chorus, Brubeck offers up some of the finest examples of his signature chordal and rhythmic performing, while interspersing soulful, lyrical melodies in his right hand.

The band continues with One Moment Worth Years, on which Brubeck and Wright’s touch can be described as charming, inventive and elegant and then they bring forth Swanee River; which features an up-tempo syncopated groove that sets up a very polyrhythmic and high-spirited interpretation of the Stephen Foster composition that the trio had previously recorded alongside Desmond on the 1959 album Gone With the Wind.

The trio calms things down with a sweet, tender, soft-hearted even version of La Paloma Azul, a Mexican folk tune rearranged with an ingenious polyphonic twist that appears during the closing melodic statement.

The crowd immediately recognizes Someday My Prince Will Come, and the piano leads the group on an intense romp that challenges the underlying time from the rhythm section with an elastic piano solo superimposing 3 against 2 and the incredible live album concludes with a tune known throughout the world, the simply magnificent jazz standard Take the A Train.

For a little more of a painted picture, the date was November 12th, 1967 and the Dave Brubeck Quartet was nearing the end of their very last tour of Europe. They had played in Hamburg on November 10th, but saxophonist Paul Desmond got “distracted” after going out on the town for one last evening to explore Hamburg with an old friend.

When the rest of the quartet went to the airport on the morning of November 11th, Paul was missing. He didn’t make the lobby call or the flight and the rest of the group traveled to Vienna without him.

Grammy nominated composer and son of Dave, Chris Brubeck notes “Knowing my father, he was probably worried about Paul. However, Dave also would have suspected that Paul may have been out celebrating too hard.”

Brubeck must have felt assured that Desmond would show up, as Chris indicates, “there were later flights Paul could take to get to Vienna in time for the concerts”.

But Paul never made it to Vienna, and the remaining members of the quartet were reluctantly pushed into an exciting place of spontaneous invention and exploration.

As Chris notes “Dave often said that the audience was the fifth member of the Quartet. In this unique situation, the Trio played a singular and inspired set no doubt influenced by this particular concert’s fourth member of the ensemble – the Viennese audience. There was suddenly more solo space for all three musicians to explore with their inspired improvisations. These performers instinctively utilized the great sound and dynamics of this hallowed concert hall both to rattle the rafters and float gentle melodies up to the balconies.”

The recording highlights the late “Senator” Eugene Wright, who sadly passed away December 30, 2020. The last surviving member of the quartet, he was always appreciated as the foundation upon which the other members of the quartet relied, but on this recording, he has more space to show off his formidable bass chops.

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