The students at Oberlin College's world-renowned Conservatory of Music had no idea what they were in for when The Dave Brubeck Quartet came to play a concert on March 2, 1953. But man, did they dig it!
Jazz at Oberlin was a world-changer in more ways than one - in addition to being one of Brubeck's finest and one of the decade's best! And, the UK's Guardian picked it as one of its Top 50 Moments in Jazz!
And that is why this incredibly remastered and reissued five-track CD is here for you!
"This is incredible music, jazz or whatever, and you should buy it." - Down Beat, review of Jazz at Oberlin
Back in the early 50s, the Oberlin concert halls were filled with the likes of Bach, Beethoven and Brahms. Most music schools across the U.S. were dedicated solely to the study of classical music. And jazz was played pretty much behind closed doors in back rooms, and its following was best described as "underground".
That was until some enlightened and enterprising Oberlin students worked to make the concert a reality and Dave Brubeck's smoking' quartet took the stage at Finney Chapel. The campus radio station, WOBC, recorded the event, and Brubeck's label got the tapes and produced and released Jazz at Oberlin later that year.
The first Oberlin Jazz Club was started soon after, and the stage was set for jazz to officially become part of the Music Conservatory's curriculum in 1972.
It was definitely a breakthrough, even historic happening!
"The idea of presenting a jazz concert on a college campus was something that really hadn't been done," says Nick Phillips, executive with Concord Music Group, which issued this special remastered classic. "So this recording represents a historic first. The combination of the quartet and the unbridled from the audience is riveting."
"Jazz at Oberlin was an extremely popular record for Brubeck's quartet and a smashing success in the Oberlin community. The concert and album presented an audience largely uneducated in jazz with some of the genre's finest players, all performing at the top of their game." - Jonah Berman. Oberlin Backstage Pass blog
"There had never been a commercial jazz recording that contained, again and again, such spontaneous eruptions of enthusiasm" - Ashley Kahn, jazz critic and historian and liner notes contributor for Jazz at Oberlin. Sixty years later, "Brubeck's playing is still astonishing."
In addition to signaling the change of performance space for jazz from the night club to the concert hall, "Jazz at Oberlin" also marked the beginning of West Coast or Cool Jazz.
"Brubeck's first Great Jazz Moment is one that has been overlooked though – the making of his quartet's 1953 live album, Jazz at Oberlin. Not only did this dynamic gig reveal Brubeck's vivacious creative relationship with west coast alto saxophonist Paul Desmond to a new and youthful audience, confirming the then 29-year-old Desmond as a sensational sax improviser, it also indicated new directions for jazz that didn't slavishly mirror bebop, and even hinted at free-jazz piano techniques still years away from realisation." - John Fordham, The Guardian
Have a taste, and we know you will totally agree that you need a copy of Jazz at Oberlin of your very own - or to give to someone your really like!
If you like this CD, check out our entire Music collection.
Jazz at Oberlin was recorded live at Finney Chapel at Oberlin College on March 2, 1953, and originally released later that year by Fantasy Records. For this incredible performance, The Dave Brubeck Quartet was comprised of Dave Brubeck on piano, Paul Desomod on alto sax, Ron Crotty on drums and Lloyd Davis on drums.
An extension of Concord Music Group's popular Original Jazz Classics series, Jazz at Oberlin was reissued in March, 2010, as part of the label's new OJC Remasters releases.
The five track CD was remastered with 24-bit technology, and featured newly written liner notes by jazz critic and historian Ashley Kahn.
Ella Fitzgerald: 100 Songs For A Centennial features 100 of the First Lady of Song's most popular...
A painting is music you can see, and music is a painting you can hear.
— Miles Davis
Man, you should hear the painting in this incredible book! But what else would you expect from Miles Davis?
One of the most influential musicians of the twentieth century, Davis was a man of many talents. Around 1980, he turned to sketching and painting to, as he explained, keep his "mind occupied with something when [he was] not playing music."
This hobby quickly turned into a serious passion, and Davis approached it with the same obsessive creativity he applied to music. The result is an impressive archive of unique and evocative visual work showcasing the varied skill of this legendary artist.
Throughout the 1980s, Davis studied regularly with New York painter Jo Gelbard, developing a distinct graphic style. Incorporating bright colors and geometric shapes, his art is reminiscent of work by Pablo Picasso as well as African tribal art, the historical influences he cited during occasional interviews on the subject.
Author Scott Gutterman sat down with Miles Davis himself before he died in 1991, and the artist's own commentary accompanies this newly published, remarkable showcase of his work.
Sadly, very few of his pieces were exhibited during Miles Davis's lifetime. Over the last two decades, the Estate of Miles Davis has worked with gallery owners and private parties to assemble a comprehensive collection of the musician's artwork.
Many celebrities are among the most adamant collectors, including Quincy Jones, who offers the Foreword to the book. Davis' daughter, Cheryl writer the Afterward.
In November, the City of Los Angeles presented members of Davis' family with a proclamation in recognition of Miles Davis: The Collected Artwork.
This long-overdue celebration is a treasure for art lovers as well as music aficionados who will appreciate the window into the life of this creative genius.
Listen to this great Tavis Smiley interview with Miles son, Erin, and his nephew, Vincent Wilburn, Jr. about Miles Davis: The Collected Artwork.
So. Very. Cool!
Be sure to scroll to the very bottom of this page and check out the review by James Neel, composer, musician, graduate of the University of North Texas' famous jazz school and a true Milesophile. Just a taste: "Over two hundred pages of gorgeous art, art, art, push Miles Davis further up and beyond his legendary perch overlooking his peers...The pages sing. They are structured improvisations."
Quincy Jones is an American record producer, conductor, arranger, film composer, television producer, and trumpeter. He lives in Los Angeles.
Vince Wilburn, Jr. is the nephew of Miles Davis. He lives in Los Angeles. Erin Davis is Miles Davis' son and Cheryl Davis is Miles Davis' daughter. They live in Los Angeles and Henderson, NV, respectively.
Eleanora Fagan, a.k.a. Billie Holiday, a.k.a. Lady Day, was born on April 7, 1915. Working...