The Nice, Brubeck, and Bernstein

by ThomM
3 replies
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I was a big fan of The Nice back in the late 60's, early 70's. They where basically the original progressive rock band.
At the time (I was 16) my playing style was transitioning from jazz to rock and The Nice played a big part in making it easier (and a whole lot of fun).
Anyways I was listening to a couple of my favorite Nice songs today and for the hell of it decided to do a little research on the songs.
The first song is Rondo. I always thought it was somehow familiar to me from the first time I heard it, today I found out why.
The Nice song Rondo (in 4/4 time) was first done by The Dave Brubeck Quartet as Blue Rondo à la Turk (in 9/8 time) DBQ was one of my favorite Jazz quartets and I had learned that song when I was 14.





My second favorite Nice song was their only protest song, America.
That song was taken from Bernstein's song America in West Side Story and parts of Antonin Dvorak's New World Symphony.
  • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
    Banned
    Oooh, this is very unusual: a music thread here, and I actually know (some of) what you're talking about.

    I know Blue Rondo à la Turk well, and have both Time Out and Time Further Out and am a great enthusiast of both.

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    • Profile picture of the author Frank Donovan
      Thanks, Thom. It's been quite a while since I heard any Nice.

      I remember I had a couple of Nice LPs but probably left them at some party or had them permanently "borrowed" decades ago. One of them was "Ars Longa Vita Brevis" (the band's second album) and that also displayed their classical influences, as these two tracks show:

      The first is a reworking of an excerpt from Bach's Brandenburg Concertos, and the second is their version of the Intermezzo from the Karelia Suite by Sibelius.

      Listening again, it still rings clear that above all the pomp and flashiness (especially of his ELP days) Keith Emerson was first and foremost a truly astonishing keyboardist.



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    • Profile picture of the author ThomM
      Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

      Oooh, this is very unusual: a music thread here, and I actually know (some of) what you're talking about.

      I know Blue Rondo à la Turk well, and have both Time Out and Time Further Out and am a great enthusiast of both.

      .
      I haven't listened to Brubeck for a few years now. Today it was a Brubeck marathon
      Back in the 60's my second drum instructor played and taught jazz and swing drumming so I became very familiar with Brubeck and other jazz and swing bands that had exceptional drummers.
      But when I studied odd time signatures it was all Brubeck because of his drummer Joe Morello.
      By the way to get technical Blue Rondo à la Turk is in 9/8 time with a 4/4 swing time.
      Speaking of Take Five. Here's Morello on Conan doing Take Five in 95.
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