Confession time: I dig musicals. There’s something that I find completely entertaining about the absurdity of people bursting into song and dance at a moment’s notice. I happen to love West Side Story. In fact, I’ve seen it on the big screen.
Now, as a general rule, I prefer older musicals to the modern variety (though Moulin Rouge was dope, but that’s probably got more to do with Baz than anything else), so when I found Dave Brubeck Quartet Plays Music from West Side Story And… (our final resolution selection) I was slayed. I’m by no means Dave Brubeck’s biggest fan, but I have seen the guy perform live. But basically it’s a treat to have two things that I don’t necessarily trumpet my love for, meet up. It’s like someone said, “Oh, you think you like the music from West Side Story and it can’t get any better? Well how about the Dave Brubeck Quartet playing it?”
And it is great hearing the Quartet inserting their signature odd time signatures into songs that I’ve loved since childhood. I mean, I literally grew up worshipping the West Side Story soundtrack, so hearing the interpretations on this album slays me.
There’s really no point in singling out any of the standout tracks on this album; either you’re going to dig it or you’re not. If you’re not that into jazz or West Side Story, this really isn’t an album for you. But because I dig them both, it’s the equivalent of Jay-Z and Black Thought on a Pete Rock track.
The And… in the title refers to a handful of tracks from other well-known musicals. Obviously “Night and Day”, a jazz standard, stands out. It’s a song I’ve heard a million different times, but I never get tired of hearing it.
This is certainly an album that could be justly characterized as “for fans only” but since I am one, I’ve got no beef.