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JazzTimes 10: All-Time Great Jazz Quartets

From Goodman to Shorter, some of the best jazz has carried the sign of four

Dave Brubeck Quartet
The prime draw of this group was always the contrast between Brubeck’s driving, often thrillingly bombastic piano and Paul Desmond’s sublimely cool alto sax. General consensus is that the Time Out version of the band, with Eugene Wright and Joe Morello, was the best. But we’re also partial to 1954’s Jazz Goes to College (Sony Legacy), featuring the Bob Bates/Joe Dodge rhythm section and two brilliant examples of spontaneous improv, “Balcony Rock” and “Le Souk.”

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Originally Published
Mac Randall

Mac Randall

Mac Randall has been the editor of JazzTimes since May 2018. Prior to that, he wrote regularly for the magazine. He has written about numerous genres of music for a wide variety of publications over the past 30 years, including Rolling Stone, The New York Times, Vanity Fair, The New York Observer, Mojo, and Guitar Aficionado, and he has worked on the editorial staffs of Musician, LAUNCH (now Yahoo! Music), Guitar One, Teaching Music, Music Alive!, and In Tune Monthly. He is the author of two books, Exit Music: The Radiohead Story and 101 Great Playlists. He lives in New York City.