Thursday, June 25, 2015

The Dan Brubeck Quartet, Live From the Cellar, Celebrating the Music and Lyrics of Dave & Iola Brubeck

Iola Brubeck, life partner of Dave Brubeck, set a number of Brubeck's songs to lyrics. The Dan Brubeck Quartet got the good idea to address some of this music on their new release Live From the Cellar (Blue Forest DB15001 2-CD set).

It's a good group consisting of Dan Brubeck (son of Dave) on drums, Adam Thomas on bass and vocals, Steve Kaldestad on saxophone and Tony Foster at the piano. Everyone sounds well in a modern bop-ish-and-beyond context not far removed from Dave's classic gatherings yet contemporized.

The vocal numbers are some very familiar items, some obscure, but all worthwhile. So we get "In Your Own Sweet Way," but then also "Summer Song," "Lord, Lord," originally sung by Carmen McRae, and others. They all fare well with Iola's lyrics, as sung in a matter-of-fact way here by bassist Adan Thomas, who may remind just slightly of Chet Baker as a vocalist, only without the croon element.

It's a beautiful program, spiced by new instrumental versions of "Blue Rondo a la Turk" and "Take Five," which given the talent of the group are much more than throw-ins.

Anyone who admired Brubeck the composer will no doubt appreciate as I did the vocal versions and the revelations of hearing them well-done.

The album is most enjoyable. I recommend you listen to this one.

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