In the autumn of 1959, The Dave Brubeck Quartet issued their classic track Take Five which had been written by their great alto sax player Paul Desmond. Brubeck was on piano, Joe Morello was the drummer, and Gene Wright played the bass. It is a staggering track that attracted the attention of many Pop fans. The song was played all over the radio and became a theme used for background music in many cool television programs.
The Dave Brubeck Quartet - Take Five / Blue Rondo A La Turk - Columbia 4-41479 (September 1959)
The Canadian Columbia "4 Eye" single is of course a mono take and sounds much different from the stereo album track issued a couple of months later. The mono single version runs for 2 minutes 50 seconds while the album track is much longer running at 5 minutes and 24 seconds. Out went the terrific Joe Morello drum signature runs, which by the way sounded fabulous in stereo. For me, the mono single version still has its own appeal. Blue Rondo A La Turk was also trimmed from 6:44 to 2:59.
The Columbia "6 Eye" album "Time Out" that featured Take Five was the first jazz album to sell more than one million copies in the USA. It was also a huge seller in Canada soon after it was released for the Christmas LP market in December 1959. Many adults were buying stereo record players then and Columbia issued the album in a superb stereo recording (Columbia CS-8192 stereo) perfect for "Hi-Fi buffs". Brubeck had made the cover of Time Magazine in 1954 and he had built a large following during the mid to late 1950s.
In November 1961, Columbia issued another clever and great (and much shorter) single called "Unsquare Dance" and this time Columbia dropped "The" from the quartet's name and issued it more simply by "Dave Brubeck Quartet". Canadian copies this time featured the month and year of release on the label next to the running time. This was a radical move away from Take Five and featured another equally catchy time signature. Somehow, Brubeck had managed to cross from jazz into Pop without losing the jazz feel. Many years later, the song would be used in Canada as a great theme for a TV commercial for Ritz crackers. I thought that was an amazing commercial in its time.
Dave Brubeck Quartet - Unsquare Dance / It's A Raggy Waltz - Columbia 4-42258 (November 1961)
In between these two Brubeck single releases, Columbia issued another classic jazz single by Miles Davis called "All Blues" taken from his classic Kind Of Blue album (Columbia "6 Eye" CL-1355 mono). The "4 Eye" maroon and silver label single did not sell many copies in Canada and is now very much sought after. The flip side was taken from his earlier album Porgy And Bess (Columbia CL-1274 mono).
All Blues was not a track that had any sort of Pop appeal, even though it is a brilliant piece of jazz music. It was adventurous and a terrific jazz statement for its time. How on earth did Columbia settle on that lengthy track as a new single?
Miles Davis - All Blues / It Ain't Necessarily So - Columbia 4-42057 (July 1961)
Columbia "whittled' the All Blues album track down to a slim 3 minutes from an album track that was eleven and a half minutes. What would Miles Davis have thought of such a hatchet-job by his record company ? Business was business.
It was The Dave Brubeck Quartet who really popularized jazz in Canada in the 1959-1961 period and it was their two cleverly composed "cross over" singles that really helped to make this happen - they brought jazz into the mainstream. This would open the door for many other jazz acts like Herbie Mann and Eddie Harris to name two.
Columbia accomplished this by paring down lengthy jazz album tracks to meet radio requirements and this worked.
Many die hard jazz fans would have shied away from anything this commercial at this time and perhaps some long time Brubeck jazz fans thought they had sold out... but this was the dawn of the 1960s and many things would start to change and evolve.
Jazz Had Moved Into Pop!
The time has come once again to underline interesting sales related to the Captiol6000 website content, that occured during that last month.
In all things target, a few Beatles singles sold on this rare 1969 label: two copies of All My Loving, one for 20$ and the other for 32$, as well as a Can't Buy Me Love, for 7$. That series is not the easiest to complete! Sie Liebt Dich, in its only incarnation (swirl) reached an impressive 220$, while another very interesting and uniquely Canadian item popped up online for sale in early September: the Kelly's vancouver press conference flexi sold for 160$. Finally, (for Beatles 45s), a mint copy of the 1967 reissue of Yesterday on the swirl with brackets label sold for 12$.
Apple label record also saw a few rarer specimens change hands. Apple 1810 Hare Krishna Mantra/Prayer To The Spiritual Masters by Radha Krishna Temple sold for 16.50$, and Joi Bangla & Oh Bhaugowan / Raga-Mishra & JhinJhoti, Apple 1838 for 15$. These are particularly hard to find in its Canadian format because not that many copies sold back in the days. The more common Billy Prestin's That's The Way Gd Planned It sold for a price of 8.50$.
In the LPs department, Pink Floyd's early albums are always a big seller. The Pipers album sold for 51$ in its fold-down mono incarnation (VG- condition), and their second album, A Saucerful Of Secrets sold for 15$. Finally, a rare mid 80s reissue of A Nice Pair on the retro rainbow sold for 10$. Billy J Kramer's Little Children appeared and sold for 5$ as well last month, while a nice copy of the withdrawn Animals LP House Of The Rising Sun sold for 25$. The Hollies don't show up as often as other bands from the 6000 series, but when they do they reach a premium, and this time is no different: a copy of their album I Can't Let Go fetched a nice 50$, while the rare Dave Clark Five's rare Instrumental Album reached a very cool 73$ and the Yardbird's duophonic pressin of Hits Of The Yardbirds reached 34$. A very hard to find Lee Gagnon album titled Je Jazze, still tight in its original shrink wrap sold for 52$ while finally, an original mint second pressing of Glenn Gould' Goldberg Variations (blue label) sold for 20$ with its thick cardboard liner notes inner sleeve.
In the Beatles department, some nice sealed albums sold last month. What seems to be a sealed red target pressing of The Beatles' Story sold for 54$, and a Meet The Beatles from the late 70s sold for 25$. An original pressing of the Beatles Again still in shrink, a rare 1974 flat Apple label reissue of Abbey Road (also in shrink), and a White album from the same era (but not in shrink) all sold for 20$. Otherwise, a very rare late sixites first pressing of The Beatles Second Album with the Parr's sleeve sold for 150$, and a rare Canadian pressing of the George Martin's A Hard Day's Night instrumentals sold for 48.50$.
Lorenz Peter has the two great initials "LP" and he has opened a cool new (and used) record store at a brand new location in Toronto, Ontario. His store is appropriately called "LPS" and it is located at the junction of Dundas Street West and Roncesvalles (at 2227 Dundas Street West). I have been by the shop a few times already to trade in some old records and pick up some great and obscure discs.
I found some nice titles on the Capitol 72000 series, some older Canadian 45s on the London label, and a few other items. I picked up a nice old copy of the Gene Pitney 45 "That Girl Belongs To Yesterday" (Canadian UA red label), an obscure Jagger/Richards composition the Rolling Stones never released. There are boxes of 45s that are priced at "3 for a dollar" and those boxes alone are worth a visit for hardcore 45 collectors. On the wall I saw a nice stereo copy of the 1967 Stone LP "Back Street Girl" by Jackie Edwards. That is a pretty hard LP to find.
LPS carries new and used vinyl as well as a nice selection of cassette tapes. A really cool selection of unusual recordings. I'll be back. Check it out when in Toronto!
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Beatles only visit to Montreal in 1964, Barry Lorenzetti presents Montreal Beatles Day 2014, a Beatles events where a few bands will "recreate" the magic of the unique 1964 concert. There are still tickets available if you want to attend this concert; simply Bbuy tickets online via the Admission website or in person at the concert hall box office (and avoid service fees).
Here are the details:
Time: 7 p.m.
Place: Oscar Peterson Concert Hall, 7141, Sherbrooke St. W.
Description: Montreal Beatles Day 2014 celebrates the 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ first and only visit to Montreal on September 8, 1964.
Headliners REPLAY will be joined by three other local acts:
The Hi-Fins, a charismatic British Invasion Tribute trio, Hayden & Friends, a talented 14 year-old singer-musician who is a big Beatles fan, Two Of Us, a new piano and vocal duo featuring a well-known local singer — a surprise only to be revealed the night of the show
Complete details on the Montreal Beatles Day website.