Newport R.I. Jazz Festival 2005 – Dave Brubeck Quartet with Wynton Marsalis

Newport Jazz Festival
Dave Brubeck Quartet with Wynton Marsalis

August 14, 2005
by Matthew S. Robinson

Greeting the crowd with a scraggly-voiced introduction, piano deity Dave Burbeck mellowed the tone quickly into an appropriately breezy rendition of “Gone with the Wind” in which his gleaming piano acted mostly in a supporting role until a late chorus in which the 50-year Newport veteran showed he could still grip the keys with the best of ’em. As Brubeck’s learned hands fell firmly on the keys, his clutches became a bit clunkier in the thunderous opening throws of “Stormy Weather” which was carried by Bobby Militello‘s hot and steamy sax. After some light-hearted complaints of life on the roads of England, Brubeck let loose the swirling self counterpoints of the title track to his latest album, “London Flat London Sharp” (Telarc).

At this point, a dapper Wynton Marsalis joined the band, releasing his own cascades of breathy dynamics and fiery blasts before opening into a roomy “Embraceable You.” The peppier rendition of “A Train” was driven by the chugging rhythms of bassist Michael Moore and drummer Randy Jones. And though it occassionally got off track, taking a brief detour into “I Can’t Give You Anything but Love,” the New Orleans-inspired jam was able to pull the crowd into clapping and swing dancing along before pulling back into the musical station for a standing ovation.

c. 2005, M. S. Robinson, ARR