Live in Rotterdam - 1967
Live at the Kurhaus - 1967
October 24 1967. The Dave Brubeck Quartet, starring more or less the same line-up since starting out, had now been together for 16 years. By this stage, they were more than well acquainted. That evening, live from the Kurhaus in Scheveningen – Paul probably downing his fourth whiskey and smoking his 40th cigarette, Dave his usual abstemious self – they opened with Three to Get Ready, establishing their close-knit dynamic in a matter of bars. Dave set the tone for the ballad while Joe held the rhythm; Paul built a sultriness that drove the audience into a whole new dimension.
There is certainly magic in this live performance – just hear the laughter, the interjections, the very life of it. With "La Paloma Azul", a children’s song that Paul and Dave had brought back from Mexico only a few months earlier, the mood changed: gentle, clear and caressing. It is one of their early performances of this piece, and a privilege to hear. After this tender interlude came unabashed laughter, hammered out by Dave’s disruptive fingerwork in "Cielito Lindo", and a light-hearted nod with "Swanee River". "Forty Days", a Hollywood-worthy oratorio, featured biblical references and themes from the great blockbusters – Exodus, Alamo and maybe even a few others. That night, the Dave Brubeck Quartet brought the walls between cultures crashing down.