JJ 05/74: Dave Brubeck – Two Generations Of Brubeck

Fifty years ago Barry McRae heard Brubeck's sons rockily updating the old man and liked solos from Chris B, Perry Robinson and Jerry Bergonzi. First published in Jazz Journal May 1974


I suppose that it was inevitable that the arrival of the younger Brubecks should force dad into more modern and youthful climes. Ironically, Dave’s rather heavy-handed swing is well suited to the semi-rock items like Blue Rondo, Holy One and Knives and it is only on Three To Get and Thank You, that we get the old Brubeck and all that that entails.

Although only a functional bas­sist, it is Chris of the younger Brubecks who takes the ear on his second instrument. His trom­bone on Tin Sink is very sensitive and he also makes a firm contri­bution on the rather freer Call Of The Wild, a title by Perry Robin­son. Apart from these two titles, little is heard of the clarinettist, although his solo on Tin Sink is the best thing on the record. It is warm and emotional but is de­livered with the brand of throw-away timing that always disting­uishes his work.

Bergonzi is a new name to me and he is a very useful reed player. He is heard to advantage on both soprano and tenor on Circadian, in a brief unaccompanied tenor solo on Call Of The Wild and in a shapely Coltranish soprano outing on Tin Sink.

Despite the appearance of familiar material, this album is better than might seem likely. The rhythm section is not always too good and despite its updated image has hardly advanced since Eugene Wright and Joe Morello. It will probably appeal to fringe listeners and it could introduce some non-believers to the real thing.

(a) Circadian Dysrhythmia; (b) Three To Get Ready; (c) Blue Rondo A La Turk; (b) Unsquare Dance; (a) The Holy One (22 min) – (a) Call Of The Wild; (b) Knives; (a) Tin Sink; (d) Thank You (Dziekuje) (21¼ min)
(a) Chris Brubeck (tbn); Jerry Bergonzi (sop/ten): Perry Robinson (clt): Dave Brubeck (pno): Darius Brubeck (elec-pno); David Dutemple (elec-bs); Randie Powell (dm): Danny Brubeck (dm). On track one Chris Brubeck plays bs-gtr.
(b) as (a) but delete Bergonzi, Robinson and Dutemple.
(c) Dave Brubeck (pno): Chris Brubeck (elec-bs): Stephan Dudash (vln); David Mason (gtr): Jim Cathcart (elec-pno); Peter (Madcat) Ruth (hmca): Richie Morales (dm).
(d) Dave Brubeck (pno). All August 1973, New York.
(Atlantic ATL 537 £2.99)