Dave Brubeck: Georgia On My Mind


Georgia On My Mind


Dave Brubeck Quartet


Gone With The Wind (Columbia 40627)

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Dave Brubeck (piano), Paul Desmond (alto sax), Eugene Wright (bass), Joe Morello (drums).

Composed by Hoagy Carmichael & Stuart Gorrell


Recorded: Los Angeles, April 22, 1959


Rating: 95/100 (learn more)

Recorded about a year before Ray Charles changed everyone's approach to the song, Dave Brubeck's recording of "Georgia On My Mind" is a quiet, reflective take on the Hoagy Carmichael standard, featuring some of Brubeck's most sensitive playing from this period. Brubeck has the opening and closing choruses of the arrangement to himself, with only light accompaniment from Gene Wright's bass and Joe Morello's drums. Brubeck makes occasional minor changes to the harmony, but for the most part, he simply enjoys interpreting the song as is. While Brubeck favored a strong attack in many of his performances, he could always play with a light touch, caressing the melody instead of hammering it. Paul Desmond glides in with his wispy tone and spins one beautiful phrase after another. Later, he makes a dramatic pause before improvising on the bridge. Brubeck's ensuing solo stays in single lines for the first half, then builds slightly into chords before Brubeck eases back into the tune. There is a slight crescendo as Brubeck goes into an unaccompanied solo which brings the performance to an end with a simple collection of repeated ideas.

Reviewer: Thomas Cunniffe

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