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Dan Brubeck Quartet: Live at the Cellar: Celebrating the Music and Lyrics of Dave & Iola Brubeck

C. Michael Bailey By

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Drummer Dan Brubeck, son of the late Dave Brubeck, pays homage to his parents in a most appropriate way. He puts the proper frame around the songbook created by his mother and father over their 70-year performance career. Using the saxophone quartet format his father blazed jazz trails with, Brubeck leads his quartet through 14 Brubeck originals at Vancouver's Cellar recorded in August 2013. Bassist Adam Thomas proves to be a fine vocalist for the special material, never obscuring the pieces with technical attempts to impress. Urbane and amiable, this collection has been a long time coming and now that it is here, we can fully appreciate the art of Dave and Iola Brubeck.

This release is programmed appropriately with perhaps Brubeck's most well-known composition, "In Your Own Sweet Way." Thomas' understated vocals set a focused setting that is followed by the rest of the group for the whole performance. A setting that heats up once the solos begin. On "Since Love Had its Way," saxophonist Steve Kaldestad begins his solo primly before opening up and blowing full-bore. Pianist Tony Foster is aesthetically technical on the rare instrumental from this performance, "Blue Rondo a la Turk," proving that the blues were a big part of Brubeck's oeuvre.

The group's take on "The Duke" highlight's one of Brubeck's more enduring pieces that was covered by Miles Davis from his great recording with Gil Evans, Miles Ahead (Columbia, 1957). The performance closes appropriately with a lengthy "Take Five," featuring Dan Brubeck in a driving introduction brought to a simmer by the rest of the band as the familiar famous 5/4 time. For the longest time, "Take Five" was the face of jazz. It is right that it finds its place in this concert by the original bandleader's son. This is an overall fine recording of some oft- neglected songs deserving a wider audience.

Track Listing

CD1: In Your Own Sweet Way; Since Love Had its Way; Summer Song; It’s A Raggy Waltz; Autumn in Our Town; Lord, Lord; Ode to a Cowboy; Blue Rondo a la Turk. CD2: Strange Meadowlark; The Desert and the Parched Land; For Iola; The Duke; Weep No More; Take Five.

Personnel

Tony Foster: piano; Adam Thomas: bass, vocals; Steve Kaldestad: saxophone; Dan Brubeck: drums.

Album information

Title: Live at the Cellar: Celebrating the Music and Lyrics of Dave & Iola Brubeck | Year Released: 2015 | Record Label: Blue Forest

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