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Chris and Dan Brubeck have been making music together practically all their lives. Drummer Dan and bassist, trombonist, and composer Chris cut their first record together in 1966, nearly half a century ago. They have subsequently played a variety of styles in a number of different groups, as well as with their father, jazz giant Dave Brubeck, and with their own Brubeck Brothers Quartet (BBQ). With Dan and Chris as the foundation, guitarist Mike DeMicco and pianist Chuck Lamb, complete this dynamic quartet. They perform at concert series, colleges, and jazz festivals across North America and Europe, including at the Newport, Detroit, Montreal, Hollywood Bowl, and Monterey Jazz Festivals.
The Quartet’s last album, LifeTimes, was a hit on the Jazz Week radio chart, where it made the Top Ten list as one of the most played jazz recordings of the year. The Seattle Times wrote of LifeTimes, “The playing that takes place on LifeTimes―the wondrous combination of swing, melodic majesty, masterful arrangements, and a truckload of truly inspirational solos―just adds a vibrancy and color to songs I thought I knew and loved on a deep level. It turns out that there was still plenty of depth I could have discovered. I just needed someone to point the way and that is exactly what these four gentlemen have done through LifeTimes.”
These versatile musicians also team up with orchestras across the United States as well as internationally, recently performing with the Singapore Chinese Orchestra. With Chris Brubeck’s compositions as a vehicle, the BBQ has joined with chamber groups to collaborate with musicians from the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and the Russian National Symphony Orchestra.
Although the Quartet’s style is rooted in “straight-ahead jazz,” their concerts reveal an inherent ability to explore and play odd time signatures while naturally integrating the influences of funk, blues, and world music. The group’s creativity, technique, and improvisation can be heard in their uncompromising music, which reflects their dedication to melody, rhythm, culture, and the spontaneous spirit of jazz.
The BBQ attains that rarefied level where music is both relaxed and expressive, and their joy in its creation is contagious. There’s nothing out there that comes close to their unique blend of inventiveness.
—All About Jazz