David Warren Brubeck December 6, 1920 – December 5, 2012) was an American jazz pianist and composer, considered one of the foremost exponents of cool jazz. Many of his compositions have become jazz standards including "In Your Own Sweet Way" and "The Duke". Brubeck's style ranged from refined to bombastic, reflecting both his mother's classical training and his own improvisational skills. His music is known for employing unusual time signatures as well as superimposing contrasting rhythms, meters, and tonalities.
Jazz Impressions of Japan is a 1964 album by The Dave Brubeck Quartet. It was recorded on June 16–17, 1964 at the legendary CBS 30th Street Studio, except for "Zen Is When" which was recorded on January 30, 1960. It was released on August 10, 1964. The album, as the back cover of the remastered CD confirms, had been long out-of-print until it was reissued on CD in 2001, then re-released in 2008 and 2009.
In the album booklet, Brubeck talks about the quartet's trip to Japan and provides poignant and interesting information for each piece of the album, explaining what inspired a certain piece, for instance. In fact, the album is a sort of trip diary. This is how Brubeck himself describes the project: "The tunes in this album are personal impressions from the Quartet's tour of Japan, Spring 1964. No one in a brief visit can hope to absorb and comprehend all that is strange to him. Sights and sounds, exotic in their freshness, arouse the senses to a new awareness. The music we have prepared tries to convey these minute but lasting impressions, wherein the poet expects the reader to feel the scene himself as an experience. The poem suggests the feeling.