Brubeck

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COMPOSERS: Brubeck
LABELS: Naxos Milken Archive
ALBUM TITLE: Brubeck – The Gates of Justice
WORKS: The Gates of Justice
PERFORMER: Kevin Deas, Alberto Mizrahi
Dave Brubeck Trio
Baltimore Choral Arts Society
Russell Gloyd
CATALOGUE NO: 8.559414
Any reminder of Dave Brubeck’s

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abilities as a composer beyond jazz is

to be welcomed. The Gates of Justice

is fairly typical of Brubeck’s output

for large forces (for further listening,

try Classical Brubeck on Telarc, also

conducted by Russell Gloyd). Dating

from 1969, the cantata certainly

deserves a recording despite being

very much of its time, with the

loping, bouncy choral sections and

snatched diction sounding very early-

BBC2 to British listeners

Its premise, the relationship

between the African-American and

American Jewish experiences, is

realised in a variety of ways. The

texts mix biblical and Hebrew liturgy

with spirituals, the Jewish Hillel saga

and some well-crafted bespoke lyrics

by Brubeck’s wife Iola, while the

musical parallels between the two

cultures are artfully woven into the

work, the transitions to Brubeck’s

trio sections being some of the most

effective examples of this. In overall

performance terms, however, the

entire show is stolen by the glorious,

clarion-like voice of cantor Alberto

Mizrahi. The sound is spacious but

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never unwieldy. Roger Thomas