Private Brubeck Remembers
(Telarc – 2004)
by Paula Edelstein
Over 100,000 US servicemen and women were killed in World War II and over 900,000 more perished in the Civil War, World War I, Korea, Vietnam, Persian Gulf War, Bosnia, Afghanistan, and now Iraq. When will it end? Dave Brubeck, now a veteran on two fronts – jazz and war – lived to tell of his days during World War II. He is one of the lucky ones.
With Private Brubeck Remembers, the pianist pays tribute in his own way to the servicemen and women that gave their lives during World War II. Were it not for a fortunate turn of events during his tour of duty in the U.S. Army he could have been among those names on the memorials that now stand in honor of those fallen soldiers. As head of the Wolf Pack Band, Brubeck spent the rest of his military service as a musician and entertainer after a Red Cross truck pulled into his company shortly after D-Day – June 6, 1944. He and his band played for the troops behind enemy lines at the Battle of the Bulge.
Private Brubeck Remembers is a collection of uniquely crafted, solo piano renditions of some of the most famous songs from World War II, many of which Dave Brubeck played during his tour of duty with the Wolf Pack Band. Private Brubeck Remembers also includes WWII-era photos from the Brubeck archives in California and a limited edition CD featuring an interview between Brubeck and former CBS News anchor Walter Cronkite. The interview includes Brubeck’s memories of his war years — as a musician and a GI. Let us all remember what the horrors of war look and sound like and urge those in power to seek other ways to resolve their differences. Even though the pianist-composer is now a jazz legend, Private Brubeck Remembers and so should we.