Double dose

by

comment

The Dave Brubeck Quartet has always exemplified the class and vivacity of jazz. Formal yet innovative, nice yet sassy, Brubeck’s brand of jazz is a sensuous contradiction. Brubeck has been a dog chasing his own tail in recent years; he is so prolific, his output is so constant, he is barely able to keep up with himself. This double album of live material from the summer of 1995 follows him through both America and the United Kingdom, tinkling away at the piano keys with an effervescent smile arcing across his concentrated face.

The album is resplendent with the flash and bubble of jazz in its natural, glamorous form. The saxophone croons and purrs through “The Things You Never Remember,” then screeches through “Waltzing” or bops through “Broadway Bossa Nova.” The cymbals steam and hiss and seem to engage the rest of the drums with animated, rhapsodic conversation. The bass races like an excited pulse. And, of course, Brubeck’s piano tangos with form and formlessness, balancing a plethora of time frames, meters, tempos and cultural variations. The band is so polished that each note seems sculpted in marble. They improvise majestically, deftly alternating between the slower, good-humored musings of “What Will I Tell My Heart,” the Olympic sprint of “Take Five,” and the classic grandiosity of “Take The A Train.” Each song is pleasure to hear, wild and natural, and contributes to the vigor that makes this release a much-welcomed addition in the Brubeck canon.

E-mail Joshua Gross at letters@metrotimes.com.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at letters@metrotimes.com.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.