Dave Brubeck, piano; Bobby Militello, alto saxophone, flute; Michael Moore, bass; Randy Jones, drums
He must be smiling at what he has suffered in criticism over the years. Few critics, in the early days, bothered to notice that Brubeck was doing something akin to Monk in his attack. But Brubeck made the unforgivable error of making a hit record. The Jazz purists didn't dig that, at all, and Dave was obliged to often feel relegated to the sphere of "pop Jazzer." All nonsense, of course. Brubeck can swing ever so mightily when he wishes to. And like Monk there is the essential gutsiness that is often missing among some of the more fleet-fingered crowd. From that very first EP, all those years ago, featuring "I'm In A Dancing Mood" and "The Trolley Song", Jazz had won a new fan. This was quickly followed by "Jazz At Oberlin" and Brubeck (and Desmond, of course) became a part of my musical landscape.
This CD was recorded by Dave Brubeck at the age of eighty, and there is nothing missing from the old magic. Nobody expects Miletello to be another Desmond, but he swings all the same, sometimes showing a Konitz-like dryness. Two nights of oodling by the old master and and a well-versed group. The music is at turns sprightly and bright and also gorgeously reflective. "Love For Sale" come off splendidly swinging. It is "Don't Forget Me" that places Brubeck among the very finest of piano exponents. He he makes it all sound so easy. "I Love Vienna" (who doesn't?) is naturally in waltz time. "Take Five" (of course they did) received shouts of jubilation from the audience and Miletello was emphatically himself. Brubeck also broke away from the common structure a little. Drummer Randy Jones gave his all and honor was satisfied. It should be noted that Michael Moore is on this date and that alone is reason enough for anyone to show interest. Go on, buy the CD, you will love it.
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