Dave Brubeck: Thank You
Dave Brubeck (piano)
Indian Summer (Telarc 83670)
Dave Brubeck (piano).
Composed by Dave Brubeck.
Recorded: New York, March 8-9, 2007
Rating: 96/100 (learn more)
Outlasting Satch and Duke and Diz, even Oscar Peterson - America's grand ambassadors of jazz - peripatetic pianist Dave Brubeck still takes to the road occasionally as he nears age 90 (and may he reach his centenary like composer Elliott Carter). In the meantime Dave's recent solo-piano release Indian Summer includes an autumnal version of his seminal and often-revisited tune "Dziekuje," first recorded for the Quartet's Jazz Impressions of Eurasia album a half century ago but known ever since then by the translation of that Polish word . . . "Thank You."
The composition reflected Brubeck's good manners; as many albums showed, he regularly sought to acknowledge each nation and to thank the people everywhere he traveled--in this instance by paying homage to Chopin, the pianist-composer who had figured in Dave's own earliest years at the keyboard. This melody yearns, both mournful and impassioned, Slavic and stately and sad, full of delicate filigree and phenomenal finger-strength as Brubeck remembers ghostly waltzes and nocturnes and ballades, and Chopin's brief dying fall in the south of France. But there's some wishful bravado here too, hints of an octogenarian--maybe--wrestling Death to a draw. ("Oh Death," sang Dock Boggs 80 years ago and Ralph Stanley more recently, "won't you spare me over till another year?")
But I wax too fanciful, reading too much into what is simply, or complexly, a fine tune and performance that should be seen instead as an opportunity for us fans to recognize Jazz's debt to a great pianist-composer of the present. . . .Thank you, Mr. Brubeck.
Reviewer: Ed Leimbacher
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Tags: solo piano