"Dave Brubeck's music is rich with challenging chord progressions and beautiful melodies," says Chris. "Dave is one of the biggest inspirations in all our lives, and we all thought it was time to salute his compositions, adding the BBQ's fresh approach to some of his most enduring tunes." Those would be "Jazzanians" which was written in honor of the like-named multiracial South African student band led by eldest brother Darius Brubeck; "Kathy's Waltz," introduced on Dave's "Time Out" (1959) and named for his only daughter; "My One Bad Habit," inspired by a remark Ella Fitzgerald made to Dave ("My one bad habit is falling in love") and first sung by Carmen McRae on Dave and Iola Brubeck's 1961 all-star album "The Real Ambassadors"; and "The Duke," an Ellington tribute first recorded by Dave in 1955 and heard here in an arrangement with "a little bit of half time and double time from the first bar" says Dan, "with those grooves alternating throughout the track." Also included is Dave's biggest hit "Take Five" which Dan kicks off with a second-line New Orleans groove in 5/4, along with two originals by pianist Lamb ("Go Round" and "The Girl from Massapequa") and one by guitarist DeMicco ("Prezcence").
CriticalJazz.com writes of "LifeTimes": "A stellar recording. A must for a Brubeck fan!"
And Dr. Judith Schlesinger writes in AllAboutJazz: "It's rare to find this combination of sizzling swing, rich melodies, tight arrangements, inventive solos, and warm, yet crisp recording."
DownBeat, Jan. 2013: LifeTimes includes four of Dave’s compositions, a clever arrangement of Paul Desmond’s “Take Five,” two Lamb originals and DeMicco’s smile-inducing tune “Prezcence.” Every track on this straightahead set is a satisfying listen. There’s nothing gritty, grimy or fuzzy here, as each chorus and solo is delivered with precision and power. Chris’ rich, robust tone on bass trombone is showcased on an instrumental version of “My One Bad Habit,” a tune that Carmen McRae sang on the 1961 LP The Real Ambassadors. The BBQ’s 10-minute version of “Take Five” is performed with what Chris calls a “second-line groove approach” that the brothers developed when they were playing with Dave and Gerry Mulligan. Dan’s extended drum solo adds a display of drama, potency and virtuosity to this intriguing arrangement. And don’t be fooled by the title of Lamb’s “The Girl From Massapequa” because this is a track where the quartet burns: Chris has a great feel and presence on electric bass, Lamb’s pianism adds charismatic personality and brilliant color—even at dazzling speeds—and DeMicco delivers a smoldering solo. LifeTimes serves as an emotional tribute to Dave and a fine introduction for listeners who aren’t familiar with the work of these four gifted players.