By late 1952 alto saxophonist Paul Desmond was on board, and except for the one piano solo of “My Heart Stood Still,” is a constant presence on the last 10 tracks. His innovative sax lines gave Brubeck a partner to bounce off and as time passes on the set, they begin to settle in with the music becoming more complex. From “This Can’t Be Love” to “Frenesi” and onward to the classic “Stardust,” there is an increasingly sophistication to his music.
The last three tracks, “Stardust,” “Give A Little Whistle,” and “For All We Know,” were recorded live. They demonstrate his ability at the time to produce his music on stage.
The Very Best of Dave Brubeck finds Brubeck establishing his sound, poised to become one of the leading lights of the jazz world. The music may not be the equal of some of his later work but it is still worth exploring.