Dave Brubeck: Over the Rainbow
Over the Rainbow
Dave Brubeck (piano)
Dave Brubeck & Paul Desmond (Fantasy 24727)
Composed by Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg.
Recorded: Storyville, Boston, October 1952
Rating: 98/100 (learn more)
Twenty years after this performance was recorded at Boston's Storyville nightclub, a host of musicians (most of them associated with the ECM label) began playing jazz without relying on syncopation -- that essential rhythmic device that had propelled jazz performances since the birth of the art form. But Brubeck showed how to do it back in 1952. In this pioneering performance, Brubeck weaves a hypnotic web without relying on a single jazz cliché or any of the familiar devices of swing or bop. It was almost as if he were trying to construct an entirely new way of improvising at the keyboard. Brubeck pulls it off through the sheer brilliance of his reharmonization, and the shifting chiaroscuro textures of his reconfiguration of the Arlen standard. Paul Desmond joins in at the end -- almost as if he couldn't resist the allure of Brubeck's spell. But for all intents and purposes, this is a solo piano performance, and a telling reminder of why Brubeck caused such a stir with his early recordings.
Reviewer: Ted Gioia