June 17, 2024

The Brubeck Brothers Quartet
(Koch – 2006)
by Staff

The Brubeck Brothers Quartet carries on the family tradition with this crisp, exciting new recording. Joined by pianist Taylor Eigsti and guitarist Mike DeMicco, Chris and Dan Brubeck come out swinging on this energetic and enjoyable CD-full of straight ahead jazz compositions. This is one of those CDs that you can drop in your player and leave it there for a few days. The tracks are all enjoyable, well performed and produced.

Chris Brubeck composed most of the tracks as well as playing bass and trombone; brother Dan is the drummer – and what an exciting and energetic drummer he is. Their musical virtuosity shines on this release filled with original music that “brings a new spirit to straight-ahead jazz,” (Boston Globe) explores odd metered funk, gorgeous ballads and “swings as hard as any group I’ve heard lately” (noted Jazz journalist & author Doug Ramsey). The impressive chemistry of these outstanding musicians and their ability to express themselves in a wide range of moods is captured on this new Koch CD. Currently, you can catch the group in select PBS markets on the concert music series Sierra Center Stage and on NPR’s nationally syndicated Jazz Set with Dee Dee Bridgewater.

Chris Brubeck is not only a distinguished performer — with the good luck to have cut his teeth playing and recording alongside his famous father — but is also making a name for himself as a composer as well. In May of 2001, when the legendary Boston Pops celebrated the centennial of Boston’s Symphony Hall, conductor Keith Lockheart premiered Brubeck’s “Convergence: Concerto for Orchestra,” commissioned for the occasion. His music also caught the attention of superstar mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade who premiered his “River of Song” in 2002. These pieces are featured on Chris’s latest orchestral CD, “Convergence” also on Koch. The disc has earned fabulous reviews in both the jazz and classical press. John von Rhein of the Chicago Tribune refers to Chris’s compositional style as “crossover in the best sense of the word — a 21st Century Lenny Bernstein.” Through all of this, Chris still finds the time to make guest appearances with the Dave Brubeck Quartet, having recorded dozens of records with them over the years.

Drummer Dan Brubeck, according to Jazz Times, “will cause your mouth to drop when you hear him take off. To call his drum solo exciting is to sell him short.” Dan and Mike DeMicco led their band, The Dolphins, for over two decades, recording three CDs which received extensive airplay on the radio at home and abroad. He was also co-leader — with Chris — of the Brubeck, Laverne Trio, whose record “See How It Feels” made the Top 25 list in national jazz airplay. He also has been featured on ten of his father’s records, including the Grammy-nominated “Trio Brubeck” with Chris. Dan has toured with legendary musicians like Gerry Mulligan, Paul Desmond, Roy Buchanon, Jerry Bergonzi and The Band.

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