Dave Brubeck

In Their Own Sweet Way

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A rare reunion of the far-flung Brubeck family, this attractive CD came about by sheer accident. A massive New York snowstorm caused the cancellation of a classical two-piano recording session and the Brubeck clan, then celebrating the holiday season at Dave's home in Wilton, Connecticut, happened to be available on short notice. Here the quartet -- Dave, Darius, Chris and Dan -- becomes a quintet for the first time with addition of cellist Matthew, whose straight classical technique adds a brooding dimension to the group in certain optimum settings, though he remains somewhat of an outsider. As do most of Dave's Telarc albums, this one has an autumnal tone as the mellowing septuagenarian pianist plays the wise old master, playing in a more lyrical, reflective manner, revisiting past work and contributing a few new tunes. When Dave and Darius play together, Dave still remains the more immediately striking personality while Darius leans more toward mainstream jazz styles. On the relaxed two-piano blues duet "Dave 'n Darius," the two blend well together without overloading the sound; Darius even adroitly picks up the ball where his dad's ideas leave off. Chris contributes most of the humorous touches, whether on bass or bass trombone, and Dan's drums offer mostly subtle support and cooking New Orleans funk (in 7/4 time!) on the sole non-Brubeck tune, "Sweet Georgia Brown." Dave Brubeck's Indian summer continues to be an unusually fruitful one.

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