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Dave Brubeck: Buried Treasures

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Buried Treasures is not the only buried treasure in this batch of Brubeck reissues. Columbia has kept Brubeck Plays Brubeck and Brubeck and Rushing interred in its vaults for decades. They are from the cream of the Brubeck catalogue, but both disappeared quickly during the LP era. One piece from each was in the Time Signatures box set, but until now neither has been on compact disc in its entirety.

Brubeck himself, it turns out, ran the tape recorder and made Brubeck Plays Brubeck alone in his California living room in 1956. The nine unaccompanied performances include the first versions of two of his most famous and influential pieces, “In Your Own Sweet Way” and “The Duke.” Their melodies are indelible, but it may be that if Miles Davis had also annointed “When I Was Young” and “One Moment Worth Years,” they, too, would be Aside from the tunes themselves, what lingers in the listener’s mind is a distinct approach to harmony, the pianist’s gently rocking swing, and a lightness of touch that is at odds with the frequent depiction of Brubeck as a keyboard pounder.

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