Personnel: Dave Brubeck (piano); Louis Armstrong, Jimmy Rushing, Carmen McRae (vocals); Paul Desmond (alto saxophone, bass marimba); Gerry Mulligan (baritone saxophone); Billy Kyle (piano); Benjamin "Chamin" Corea (guitar); Bob Bates, Norman Bates, Eugene Wright, Joe Benjamin, Charles Mingus, Jack Six (bass); Joe Dodge, Joe Morello, Alan Dawson (drums); Salvatore "Rabito" Agueros (bongos, congas); Teo Macero (claves); Howard Brubeck (chocola).
Producers: George Avakian, Dave Brubeck, Cal Lampley, Teo Macero.
Compilation producers: Russell Gloyd, John Snyder.
Recorded between 1954 and 1970. Includes liner notes by Doug Ramsey.
This two-CD set gives one a fine overview of the Dave Brubeck Quartet during their years on Columbia. All of the 28 selections are available elsewhere so longtime collectors will want to skip this reissue, but those listeners just beginning to discover Brubeck's special music may want to acquire this set for a start. The main "hits" ("Take Five," "Blue Rondo A La Turk," etc.) are here but, even with guest appearances by Carmen McRae, Louis Armstrong, Charles Mingus and Jimmy Rushing (along with two later selections that have baritonist Gerry Mulligan in altoist Paul Desmond's place), the emphasis is very much on the classic Quartet. ~ Scott Yanow