Dave Brubeck Octet: Curtain Music (Closing Theme)

Track

Curtain Music (Closing Theme)

Group

Dave Brubeck Octet

CD

Time Signatures (Columbia Legacy 52945)

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Musicians:

Dave Brubeck (piano), Paul Desmond (alto sax), Dave Van Kriedt (tenor sax), Bill Smith (clarinet), Cal Tjader (drums),

Dick Collins (trumpet), Bob Collins (trombone), Jack Weeks (bass)

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Composed and arranged by Dave Brubeck

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Recorded: Mills College, Oakland, 1946

Albumcoverdavebrubecktimesignatures

Rating: 95/100 (learn more)

This signature theme from the Dave Brubeck Octet—a short snippet from 1946—predates the Miles Davis Birth of the Cool nonet by some two years. A few commentators have tried to portray Brubeck as a follower in the footsteps of Mr. Davis, but in truth the music of this ensemble resists pigeonholing of any sort. Even by Brubeck's eccentric standards, this group was an oddity. And if you push hard for a genealogy, you will end up finding more sources in classical music than in jazz. Brubeck discouraged my attempts to connect this music to Stravinsky's Octet from 1922. But he is not shy about making claims for this piece. "You'll have a hard time finding any other jazz piece in 6/4 from this period," he has remarked. My only gripe with this track (which is my same complaint about all of the Octet's work) is that there simply isn't more of it.

Reviewer: Ted Gioia

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