Live review

Reviews and dispatches from Montreal #FIJM 2022 (12): Brubeck Brothers Quartet

Brubeck Brothers Quartet
(Centre Culturel Gesu, 8 July 2022. FIJM2022. Review by Sebastian Scotney)

L-R Chuck Lamb, Chris Brubeck, Dan Brubeck, Mike DeMicco. Phone snap

I hope someone will explain to me one day why Montrealers, and Gesu audiences in particular, seem to love the sound of drums quite so much.


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The audience for the Brubeck Brothers Quartet had listened to most of last night’s programme, the tunes and the stories from Chris Brubeck, respectfully, maybe even dutifully. They had undoubtedly been moved by Chris’s poignant thoughts and memories of his sister Cathy – Catherine Ivey (Brubeck) Yaghsizian – who passed away only five weeks ago on 5 June, at the age of just 68. But it was only when Dan Brubeck launched into “Jazzanians”, written by Dave Brubeck as a mark of admiration for his eldest son Darius’s work in jazz education in South Africa (*), that the Montrealers suddenly sprang into loud life. The applause which greeted the end of that tune was the strongest we had heard, and by far.

The Montreal Festival was bringing all kinds of nice memories of previous visits back to Chris. His genial presentation of may rich seams of memory were some of the joys of this gig. I thought the quartet – the two brothers plus Mike DeMicco on guitar and Chuck Lamb on piano and keyboards were at their most persuasive in the numbers needing a delicate touch – Lamb’s “Cool On The Coast” and yet another really beautiful Dave Brubeck tune (just when you think you know them, another one comes along) “Weep No More”.

I loved the fact that the concert opened with a tune in 5, “Dance of the Shadows”, and ended, as might be expected, with “Take Five” (including an episode for just the two brothers, image below), followed by “Blue Rondo a la Turk”. As members of the Brubeck family have never attempted to play down, the sight of a 5/4 time signature spurs in them not only the kind of emotions capable of stirring the heart, but also filling the wallet. “Take Five” was life-transforming for an entire family’s economic well-being.

Chris and Dan Brubeck. Phone snap.

(*) We recently collected together birthday greetings for Darius Brubeck at 75 (LINK) The first one of them is from his one-time boss in Durban.

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