RIO RANCHO, NM, (AP) – Almost eight years after his death, the last solo recording of late American jazz legend Dave Brubeck will be released next month.
Verve Records announced last week that “Lullabies” – a collection of intimate standards often played for children – will be available on November 6 in a label’s latest attempt to preserve previously unreleased jazz recordings.
“Dave saw it primarily as a kind of documentation and gift for immediate family and some close family friends,” said Chris Brubeck, his son, who is also a musician.
And that’s where the recordings would have stayed until someone at Verve Records heard a song for the collection and thought it would be great to make it available to the public, said the younger Brubeck.
“He knew thousands of songs from playing in nightclubs and the cowboy jazz bands he was a member of as a child,” said Brubeck. “Even though this may seem a little when I hear this particular performance, it just kills me because there is so much incredible wisdom in each of his fingers, how he approaches the notes and the touch.”
The latest release features an interpretation of George Gershwin’s “Summertime” from the 1935 opera Porgy and Bess, the 1913 “Danny Boy” and “Over the Rainbow” from the 1939 film “The Wizard of Oz”.
It also includes original pieces he wrote for his old wife, Iola, and an interpretation of “When It’s Sleepy Time Down South” by Fats Waller. Dave Brubeck would say the first record he ever bought was from Waller.
“So the circle is complete,” said Chris Brubeck.
Brubeck is largely credited with boosting the Cool Jazz or West Coast Jazz movement. Recorded by the Dave Brubeck Quartet, the 1959 “Take Five” hit is a solo battle between saxophonist Paul Desmond and summer Joe Morello with Brubeck’s piano as the narrator and bassist Eugene Wright adding a scene. The classically trained Brubeck used exotic meters he had heard abroad to deviate from the regular 4/4 time.
“Take Five” is the best-selling jazz single ever.
Brubeck died on December 5, 2012 at the age of 91.