What a treat this is: jazz that is brilliantly executed, intriguing, and actually... fun. The incomparable music of Dave Brubeck has been lovingly transformed and updated on Time Again without losing its original essence. Take it from the composer himself?after hearing the CD, Brubeck wrote: "I am truly amazed with the trio's imaginative interpretation of my music. I laughed and hollered out loud at every track, hearing their rhythmic, harmonic, and swinging versons of my tunes."
It's a tickle to hear the classic "Rondo a la Turk" in the trio's conception; it begins like the original, then heads off into a brand new landscape. Gilman does a splendid solo treatment of the familiar "In Your Own Sweet Way," which has been increasingly covered in recent years. Howard Brubeck's "Theme for June," a wistful ballad that was always one of my favorites, gets a new pulse and a fresh coat of paint. But for those not familiar with Brubeck's work, the music shines on its own with imagination and joy.
Joe Gilman has great technique, soul, and sensitivity. He was a finalist in four Great American Jazz Piano Competitions, twice a Jazz Ambassador, and also teaches at the Brubeck Institute; his list of performing credits reads like a Who's Who of Jazz. Gilman is joined here by two sterling young musicians, barely out of high school, who have already played at national and international jazz festivals; the trio is absolutely top-notch. Given that Brubeck sent Gilman all of his published work, and this CD is marked "Volume One," we can happily anticipate more such goodies in the future.
Track Listing: Blue Rondo a la Turk, Weep No More Tender Woman, For Iola, In Your Own
Sweet Way, Theme for June, Recuerdo, Love and Anger, Darius, Curtain Time
Personnel: Joe Gilman (piano), Joe Sanders (bass), Justin Brown (drums)