Tony Bennett, Dave Brubeck: The White House Sessions, Live 1962 (1962) 2013

The White House Sessions

Track list:

01. Introduction
02. Take Five
03. Band Introduction
04. Nomad
05. Thank You (Dziekuje)
06. Castilian Blues
07. Introduction
08. Just In Time
09. Small World
10. Make Someone Happy
11. Rags To Riches
12. One For My Baby (And One More For The Road)
13. I Left My Heart In San Francisco
14. Lullaby Of Broadway
15. Chicago (That Toddlin’ Town)
16. That Old Black Magic
17. There Will Never Be Another You


#2,4,5,6 – Dave Brubeck Quartet:
Dave Brubeck – piano;
Paul Desmond – alto sax;
Eugene Wright – bass;
Joe Morello – drums;

#8-13 – Tony Bennett:
Tony Bennett – vocals;
Ralph Sharon – piano;
Hal Gaylor – bass;
Billy Exiner – drums

#14-17 – Tony Bennett with Dave Brubeck Trio:
Tony Bennett – vocals;
Dave Brubeck – piano;
Eugene Wright – bass;
Joe Morello – drums;

William B. Williams – announcer

Recorded: live The White House Seminar American Jazz Concert (in the grounds of the Sylvan Theater); August 28, 1962
Released: 2013
Label: Columbia / Sony Legacy

Original Recording Produced by: Teo Macero

Executive Producers: Danny Bennett, Russell Gloyd
Produced for released by: Dae Bennett, Didier C. Deutsch, Mark G. Wilder

Mixed and Mastered by Mark G. Wilder (at Battery Studios, NYC)

For the first time ever, the complete Tony Bennett and Dave Brubeck performance from the White House Seminar American Jazz Concert, held on August 28, 1962.

The concert was an end-of-summer event thrown by the John F. Kennedy White House for college students who’d been working as interns in the nation’s capital.

With the Washington Monument as the evening’s backdrop, the show was moved from its original Rose Garden location to the larger Sylvan Theater grounds nearby to accommodate the crowd.


Since both were performing their own sets at the White House Seminar American Jazz Concert on the Sylvan Theater grounds on August 28, 1962, Tony Bennett and Dave Brubeck decided to perform an impromptu collaborative set together that day, and although one song from it was eventually released, a version of “That Old Black Magic,” the rest of the hour-or-so-long tape ended up lost in the vast Sony catalog vault, filed, as it turned out, with several classical tapes, until it surfaced again shortly after Brubeck’s death in 2012.

Now finally available, it reveals two master performers at the very top of their respective games.

Bennett’s signature song, “I Left My Heart in San Francisco,” had been released only a couple of weeks before the concert, while Brubeck’s “Take Five” had just begun to take on its iconic significance.

Brubeck and his quartet, Paul Desmond on alto sax, Eugene Wright on bass, and Joe Morello on drums, played a four-song set, followed by a six-song set from Bennett and his band, with Ralph Sharon on piano, Hal Gaylor on bass, and Billy Exiner on drums.

Then came an unrehearsed and impromptu four-song set from Bennett and Brubeck, with Wright on bass and Morello on drums (alto saxophonist Desmond sat out) that included versions of “That Old Black Magic” (the only track previously released before this), “Lullaby of Broadway,” “Chicago (That Toddlin’ Town),” and “There Will Never Be Another You,” each of which purveys a loose, fun elegance that makes this archival find a true treasure.

Bennett and Brubeck would not perform together again until both appeared and briefly reunited on-stage at the 2009 Newport Jazz Festival.
~Steve Leggett[]