The Dave Brubeck Quartet & Gene Bertoncini at the Grove Park Inn
The end of the second set was yet another twist. Brubeck began noodling around very slowly and faintly with “Take Five,” which most of the audience failed to catch. With its bluesy tone and sparse arrangement, it sounded much like a soundtrack to a late night street scene in a detective movie. This refreshing look at a piece demanded at every Brubeck concert for over 40 years was extremely welcome. Finally, the rest of the crowd caught on as Brubeck switched to his famous vamp, providing the fuel for Militello’s often dissonant and consistently explosive solo. Randy Jones, who has worked continuously with Brubeck for almost 24 years (longer than anyone else), was the focal point of “Take Five” and wowed the audience with his creative solo.
Finally, Gene Bertoncini, who is no stranger to working with Brubeck (having performed with the pianist during his annual concert featuring his Mexican flavored choral cantata “La Fiesta de la Posada”), joined the quartet for a rousing finale of “Take the ‘A’ Train.” It is a safe bet that no one in the packed ballroom went home disappointed.