Chris Brubeck, Bass & Bass Trombone
Dan Brubeck, Drums
Mike DeMicco, Guitar
Chuck Lamb, Piano
KOCH International Classics - KIC 7714
with Special Guests: Imani Winds
Valerie Coleman -Flute ~ Monica Ellis - Bassoon ~ Mariam Adam - Clarinet
Toyin Spellman-Diaz - Oboe ~ Jeff Scott - French Horn
“The music is uniformly excellent in its composition, execution, and recording quality. Once again 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 (March 24, 2008)
Classified, is an innovative collection of original jazz and classical compositions by the Brubeck Brothers Quartet (BBQ) featuring Grammy-nominated wind quintet Imani Winds. These two inventive forces have teamed up for this ground-breaking recording that further expands the boundaries of jazz/classical crossover as never before. Classified is Chris Brubeck’s fourth recording on the Koch label and is the follow up to the Brubeck Brother Quartet’s highly acclaimed 2007 chart-topping recording Intuition (released in 2006).
2008 Grammy winner David Balakrishnan (Turtle Island String Quartet Founder) describes Classified as “an absorbing and evocative collection of original jazz compositions that also provide a fascinating inside glimpse into the rapidly evolving genre of music known as classical crossover. … At the centerpiece of this recording is Chris Brubeck’s ingenious composition “Vignettes For Nonet” featuring the Imani Winds.” In these three movements, the listener enters in to a dreamscape of the composer’s making in which the classically trained wind quintet sits down with the Brubeck Brothers Quartet to partake in a veritable musical feast.“
It was a natural fit to make the first recording of Vignettes with the innovative quintet, Imani Winds. They enjoy a reputation for collaborating with revered jazz artists such as Wayne Shorter and Paquito d’Rivera, and now the Brubeck Brothers Quartet. The talented Imanis embrace the attitude of stretching the parameters of what is known as “chamber music.” Their sense of musicality, fun, virtuosity, and superb ensemble work is evident on this recording.
It also demands the pianist be a sophisticated improviser who can creatively navigate challenging harmonic progressions.
This CD marks the BBQ recording debut of Chuck Lamb. Two of Mr. Lamb’s compositions are included on this CD, the atmospheric “Cool on the Coast,” and “Cloud City Heyoke,” which features dynamic interplay between the drums and the piano. Guitarist Mike DeMicco contributed “Eclipse,” a solo vehicle which culminates in a sizzling drum solo played with cluster sticks; and “Good Question” - - a melodious tune in ¾ with an ending that fades on a polyrhythmic groove.
Chris wrote the beautiful ballad with a last-set-of-the-night-vibe -- “Friends Beyond Time” and also “Dance of the Shadows” - a 5/4 Bossa with compositional contributions from drummer Dan Brubeck who recently has been exposed to many interesting rhythmic patterns on his travels in South America. Dan also brought the intriguing 7/4 beat underlying “7th Sense” to the BBQ, then Mike and Chuck came up with the angular melodies that float over the unusual rhythmic bed.
With its lively 9/8 time signature and its classical structure, Blue Rondo became a fitting encore for concerts that featured Vignettes and a “salute” to Chris and Dan’s musical lineage. Among Dave Brubeck’s many contributions to Jazz were his early collaborations with Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic. It has taken nearly half a century but the classical music scene has grown to recognize and respect that an accomplished Jazz group is another valid form of Chamber music with the extra dimension of improvisation.