Re-mastering by: Ray Staff at Air Mastering, Lyndhurst Hall, London
Although this is a blues-oriented set, there is plenty of variety in tempos and grooves. The 1968 Quartet featured the leader/pianist, baritone saxophonist Gerry Mulligan, bassist Jack Six and drummer Alan Dawson. The repertoire on this LP ranges from "Limehouse Blues" (which is not really a blues) to "Things Ain't What They Used to Be" and several originals.
These songs are average for 1968, but the soloing is remarkable and the musicians here are some of the best. "Journey" is a remarkably beautiful piano ballad, while "Blues Roots" narrowly rises above in it's epic scope, and over-the-top ending. It's probably my favourite song here. But, "Broke Blues" is also exceptional. This one, along with "Cross Ties" and "Blues Roots", are fairly progressive, drawing as much from post bop as blues and traditional Jazz, pushing toward avante-garde. By G.Skate/S Yannow
Personnel: Dave Brubeck, Piano, Honky Tonk Piano / Gerry Mulligan, Baritone Saxophone / Jack Six, Bass, Fender Bass / Alan Dawson, Drums
Review: Hi Fi Choice HOT PICK 5 * December 2016 review by Jason Kennedy.
There is more to Dave Brubeck than take five, his career spanned over 60 years, and while he is credited with being a major exponent of cool jazz, the blues was a form in which he also excelled. A fact that this 1968 recording attests to in considerable style. The energy and dexterity of his band is simply thrilling, the grooves they lay down irresistible. A the title indicates, it features the saxophone of Gerry Mulligan rather than Brubeck's long-time ally Paul Desmond, which makes for rather different dynamic, one which sees both musicians interrupting one another with inspired results.
The recording and Pure Pleasure's pressing are remarkably good for the vintage, with great bandwidth, dynamics and instrument resolution. You can easily follow each of the four musicians even when things get lively, but this is the appeal really, having highly capable musicians applying themselves to a style that is as Brubeck suggests "in his roots". They don't have to think, just feel. Nowhere is more apparent than on the down tempo Journey where the two leads are so beautifully expressive you don't want it to end. by Jason Kenenndy
Side A : 1. Limehouse Blues 2. Journey 3. Cross Ties
Side B: 1. Broke Blues 2. Things Ain’t What They Used To Be 3. Movin’ Out 4. Blues Roots
Cat No: PPAN CS9749 Stereo
Format: 180 gram LPx1 standard sleeve
Recording Engineers, Arthur Kendy, Frank Laico, Murray Zimney, Stan Tonkel