A new Rifftides reader, Orsolya S., joined us recently. Now and then she sends comments, an activity we encourage among all readers. Her latest communique concerns a recording that has been exciting listeners for more than sixty years.
Thanks for recommending the album Dave Brubeck Quartet at Oberlin College a while back. One of my favorite albums, I’ve listened to it 8 or 9 times since buying it. All the tracks are great, but “Perdido” is my favorite. The quartet recorded the album in the early fifties at Oberlin College in a chapel there. According to the liner notes, jazz wasn’t performed very much on college campuses in those days. You can hear how excited the audience was to be hearing this kind of music. The members of the quartet can be heard cheering for each other and encouraging the others, which is very heartening. The music is bright and upbeat. You always feel better after hearing Dave Brubeck and Paul Desmond play together.
Orsolya S’s enthusiasm gives us all a fine reason to listen to “Perdido” again.
A favorite line from one of my visits with Brubeck when I interviewed him for Desmond’s biography:
Boy, do I miss Paul Desmond.
Boy, do a lot of us miss them both.
Take Five: The Public And Private Lives Of Paul Desmond is rarely found in hard cover these days, except at exorbitant prices on the used-book market. It is available as an ebook at a non-exorbitant price. And, as Iola Brubeck observed when it emerged in that format, “It’s a lot easier to take it on an airplane that way.”