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Reviewers: Don Mather, Dick Stafford, Marc Bridle, John Eyles, Ian Lace, Colin Clarke, Jack Ashby


Dave Brubeck Quartet


Telarc CD-83570



  1. On the Sunny Side of the Street
  2. Love for Sale
  3. Elegy
  4. Don’t Forget Me
  5. Love is Just Around the Corner
  6. On a Slow Boat to China
  7. I Love Vienna
  8. Crescent City Stomp
  9. Take Five
  10. Show Me the Way to Go Home

Dave Brubeck – Piano
Bobby Militello – Alto Sax & Flute
Michael Moore – Bass
Randy Jones – Drums
Recorded Live 10 & 11 July 2002 at Starbucks Coffee House Park Ave. South N.Y

A CoffeeHouse is not the first place you would expect to record a jazz quartet, but due to the excellence of the recording crew, it works fine. Dave Brubeck was 82 when this recording was made and he is very obviously still in good shape. I did not manage to get to his recent concert at Symphony Hall, but a friend assures me that it was an excellent concert.

Dave has always looked for something new in jazz be it new compositions, unusual time signatures or new musical combinations, but he has always carried with him the traditions and roots of the great jazz music. On this CD he starts with two well-loved jazz standards and moves on to two of his original compositions and the remainder of the programme follows a similar pattern. Bobby Nilitello on alto is closer to Parker than Desmond, but that is not a criticism, he is a fine player and I am surprised that I have not come across his work before. Michael Moore is a master bass player and Randy Jones an exceptionally talented drummer.

Brubeck himself is still somewhat angular in his approach, but sounds much more measured than in a lot of his earlier albums. I guess age also brings experience and experience rounds us and makes us into better people if we allow it. I like this latest quartet; it does not try to emulate the work of its predecessors, but swings along in its own tuneful way. Love is Just Around the Corner is a classic example of what I mean, the tune is taken at a steady unrushed pace allowing each soloist to make his mark in a steady voyage of improvisational exploration. Similarly with Slow Boat to China although this one is taken at slightly faster tempo.

Take Five is included of course, but then no Brubeck performance would have been complete without it. It have always been amazed at how many people were touched by the original version, my late Mother in Law who nothing whatever about jazz, always said it was her favourite piece of music. The last piece both appropriately and musically is Show Me the Way to Go Home, it has been the basic sequence of many other jazz tunes including Horace Silver’s ‘The Preacher’.

This album is a very worthwhile musical experience for the listener. Long may Dave Brubeck have the strength to carry on his remarkable musical career.


Don Mather



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