Dave Brubeck has given us a present for his 90th birthday on December 6. The pianist and prolific composer has released a two-disc compilation called Legacy of a Legend, it's releasing coming three days after Brubeck resumed touring. (He had a three-month layoff after doctors gave him a pacemaker.)
It’s a 21-track compilation on Columbia/Legacy that spans work from 1954 to 1970, documenting the evolution of his quartet into its classic makeup with Brubeck, alto saxophonist Paul Desmond, bassist Eugene Wright and drummer Joe Morello. Two of his later quartet members, bassist Jack Six and drummer Alan Dawson, are featured on tracks from a tour Brubeck made with Gerry Mulligan on baritone sax.
This hand-picked compilation also includes collaborations with singers Jimmy Rushing, Carmen McRae and Louis Armstrong. One of the highlights for Brubeck compleatists figures to be a previously unreleased live take of Brubeck’s tune “Three to Get Ready” that was recorded at his classic quartet’s final concert the day after Christmas 1967 in Pittsburgh.
There is more available for Brubeck fans this holiday season. Turner Classic Movies will dedicate the afternoon of December 6 to a pair of classic films featuring Brubeck. They are “All Night Long” (a jazz update of Shakespeare’s “Othello) and “Southern Crossing,” (which chronicles five-day jazz festival in Sydney, Australia). They will be followed at 5 p.m. by the premier of the Bruce Ricker-produced and directed documentary “Dave Brubeck: In His Own Sweet Way.” The executive producer of documentary is longtime Ricker collaborator Clint Eastwood.