Bernstein Plays Brubeck Plays Bernstein

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Bernstein Plays Brubeck Plays Bernstein
Bernstein Plays Brubeck Plays Bernstein (album cover).jpg
Studio album by
RecordedJanuary 30, 1960-February 14, 1960
GenreCool jazz, West Coast jazz
Dave Brubeck chronology
Near-Myth (OJC)
Bernstein Plays Brubeck Plays Bernstein
Time Further Out
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic4/5 stars[1]

Bernstein Plays Brubeck Plays Bernstein is a 1961 studio album by The Dave Brubeck Quartet.[2] Its title refers to the fact that it consists of both a Brubeck composition conducted by Leonard Bernstein (though the "Brubeck" there is Howard Brubeck, Dave Brubeck's brother) and Bernstein compositions played by the Dave Brubeck Quartet. The title is also an echo of Dave Brubeck's 1956 solo debut album, Brubeck Plays Brubeck.

The whole first side of the album consists of the composition “Dialogues for Jazz Combo and Orchestra”, composed by Howard Brubeck and performed by the New York Philharmonic and the Dave Brubeck Quartet, under the direction of Leonard Bernstein. The second side consists of arrangements of five songs from the musicals West Side Story and Wonderful Town, whose music was written by Bernstein.


The album started to take shape when “Dialogues for Jazz Combo and Orchestra” was premiered at a New York Philharmonic series on December 10, 11 and 13, 1959, with Leonard Bernstein conducting.[3] This was considered at the time to be an early, successful jazz/classical crossover project – similar to those that had already been initiated by the Modern Jazz Quartet, Gunther Schuller and their peers in the study of what Schuller termed “Third Stream” music.

The Dialogues[edit]

“In this work an attempt is made to construct a score giving the orchestra an important part to play which adheres strictly to written notes, while the particular combination, or “combo,” of jazz instruments, is free to improvise on the material of the movement...” - Howard Brubeck (Original LP liner notes)

Track listing[edit]

On the original vinyl LP record:

Side A[edit]

  1. "Dialogues for Jazz Combo and Orchestra (Allegro)" – 6:55
  2. "Dialogues for Jazz Combo and Orchestra (Andante-Ballad)" – 5:13
  3. "Dialogues for Jazz Combo and Orchestra (Adagio-Ballad)" – 4:46
  4. "Dialogues for Jazz Combo and Orchestra (Allegro-Blues)" – 5:34

Side B[edit]

  1. "Maria" (Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim) – 3:16
  2. "I Feel Pretty" (Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim) – 5:06
  3. "Somewhere" (Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim) – 4:13
  4. "A Quiet Girl" (Leonard Bernstein, Betty Comden, Adolph Green) – 2:23
  5. "Tonight" (Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim) – 3:48


The Dialogues for Jazz Combo and Orchestra was composed by Howard Brubeck; the other selections were composed by Leonard Bernstein.



  1. ^ Allmusic review
  2. ^ All Music Guide to Jazz, 2010 Edition
  3. ^ Columbia LP CL-1466 liner notes