Night Lights Classic Jazz

Jazz Impressions Of Brubeck

Music inspired by the Brubeck Quartet's international tours during the height of the Cold War.

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  • Jazz Impressions of Japan

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    Photo: album art

    "Jazz Impressions of Japan"

  • Jazz Impressions of Eurasia

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    Photo: album art

    "Jazz Impressions of Eurasia"

  • Ambassadors

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    Photo: album art

    "The Real Ambassadors"

  • bravo

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    Photo: album art

    "Bravo! Brubeck"

In the 1950s and 60s the Dave Brubeck Quartet was one of the most popular jazz acts in the world. That’s one reason why the group did a State Department tour in 1958, at the height of the Cold War, to many countries including India, Poland, and Iraq. The music inspired by this and other international forays came out on the albums Jazz Impressions of Eurasia, Jazz Impressions of Japan, and Bravo Brubeck.

The First Sign Of Freedom

The tour made Dave Brubeck a spokesperson for values that, for him, were heartfelt – most importantly, the love of jazz, the love of liberty, and the belief that the two were intertwined. “No dictatorship can tolerate jazz,” he said at one performance. “[Jazz] is the first sign of a return to freedom.”

Brubeck, who was recently honored by the U.S. government for his long-running jazz ambassadorship, was a pupil of the composer of classical music Darius Milhaud. When Brubeck was young, Milhaud told him ‘to travel the world and keep [his] ears open.’ The pianist did just that. His subsequent Jazz Impressions albums contain some of the most interesting music in his jazz legacy.

For More On Brubeck’s International Impressions…

• Listen to some of the music Brubeck wrote for The Real Ambassadors, a jazz musical inspired in part by his State Department travels, on the previous Night Lights program, Jazz Goes to the Cold War.

• Watch the Dave Brubeck Quartet in 1966, performing “Koto Song” a track that originally appeared on Jazz Impressions of Japan:

Music Heard On This Episode

The Golden Horn
Dave Brubeck — Jazz Impressions of Eurasia (Columbia/Legacy, 1958)
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The Golden Horn
Dave Brubeck — Jazz Impressions of Eurasia (Columbia/Legacy, 1958)
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History of a Boy Scout (We Crossed the Rhine)
Dave Brubeck — Time Signatures: a Career Retrospective (Columbia/Legacy, 1956)

Notes: Originally on the album JAZZ IMPRESSIONS OF U.S.A.

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Brandenburg Gate
Dave Brubeck — Jazz Impressions of Eurasia (Columbia/Legacy, 1958)
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Calcutta Blues
Dave Brubeck — Jazz Impressions of Eurasia (Columbia/Legacy, 1958)
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Nomad
Dave Brubeck — Jazz Impressions of Eurasia (Columbia/Legacy, 1958)

Notes: Midpoint music bed.

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The City Is Crying
Dave Brubeck — Jazz Impressions of Japan (Columbia/Legacy, 1964)
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Osaka Blues
Dave Brubeck — Jazz Impressions of Japan (Columbia/Legacy, 1964)
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La Paloma Azul (The Blue Dove)
Dave Brubeck — Bravo Brubeck (Columbia/Legacy, 1967)

Notes: Also on the anthology TIME SIGNATURES.

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Estrellita (Little Star)
Dave Brubeck — Bravo Brubeck (Columbia/Legacy, 1967)

Notes: Also on the anthology TIME SIGNATURES.

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David Brent Johnson

Born in Indianapolis, Indiana, David Brent Johnson moved to Bloomington in 1991. He is an alumnus of Indiana University, and began working with WFIU in 2002. Currently, David serves as jazz producer and systems coordinator at the station. His interests include literature, history, music, writing, and movies.

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  • Ron Franklin

    Jazz Impressions of Eurasia was the first LP that I purchased while a High School student in the foothills of North Carolina. Not only was the Brubeck Quartet great ambassadors for our Country to the World but also to our Country and every small town. What a great escape for a young boy. A lifetime of thanks to Dave Brubeck and Company.

  • http://www.swing.jazzmuzyka.net Maciej – fan of jazz music – Jazz Event Agency owner

    Hi,

    I enjoy Your site :) I play swinging music on guitar, I come from Poland.
    D.Brubeck did something good for polish jazz – was involved in shearing jazz evangelium in Poland in years 1950-60. Greetings from Poznan.

    My jazz band called zezz kwartet – http://www.myspace.com/zezzkwartet
    My jazz music blog: http://www.swing.jazzmuzyka.net

    Maciej

  • http://www.chuckfesperman.com/ Chuck Fesperman

    Brubeck's always been a classy guy. His music has been an inspiration to many young jazz players as well as jazz listeners. Great article!

  • http://www.chuckfesperman.com/ Chuck Fesperman

    Brubeck's always been a classy guy. His music has been an inspiration to many young jazz players as well as jazz listeners. Great article!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ZILXHHPA5NPKB6BI643HBWVF7U James C

    Great program. One thing though…the bassist on “Jazz Impressions of Eurasia” is Joe Benjamin not Eugene Wright. Although Eugene Wright made the State Department tour, as witness the live performance captured on the “Dave Brubeck Quartet in Europe” album's concert from Copenhagen, Joe Benjamin was the quartet's bassist in the earlier part of 1958. Joe is also on the “Newport 1958″ (July 3-4 of that year)album, which is the only other album Joe recorded with the quartet before Eugene came on board.

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