Koto Song – 1964

Dave Brubeck Quartet

One of Brubeck’s more exotic and introspective pieces

Dave Brubeck created quite a bit of rewarding music during his long career.

His “classic quartet” of 1958-67, which included altoist Paul Desmond, bassist Eugene Wright and drummer Joe Morello, was his most acclaimed group and was quite popular even before debuting “Take Five” in 1959.

The Brubeck Quartet regularly traveled throughout the world and the leader often wrote compositions inspired by the countries that he visited.

“Koto Song,” which was inspired by Japan, has a haunting theme that, on this performance from Belgium in 1964, has thoughtful solos by Brubeck (who opens and closes the piece) and Desmond.

-Scott Yanow