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12,393 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 12 years ago. 112 of them this year alone and, so far, 112 this month (Jan. 23).

Saturday, October 31, 2020

Album review: Dave Brubeck - Lullabies

Dave Brubeck (piano)

In these turbulent times, when the whole world is in disarray, and everyone and their dog have the answer, it's when music becomes, if not the vaccine, at least the sticking plaster or the painkiller and this solo album by pianist Brubeck provides both of those.

Back in the day, jazzwise, Brubeck was as controversial as any of today's "world leaders" and yet, listening to this, his final studio recording, I can only say that there was much more to the man than what you heard on albums such as Time Out.

In 2010, with the fire of youth long gone, he recorded some "lullabies"as a gift to his grandchildren. What emerged was a pianist with a sensitivity that  showed only rarely in those far off days.

This truly is someone playing from the heart, rarely straying too far from the melody but extending the harmonic depth with his own choice chordal structures. I remember the concerts at Newcastle City Hall and the Odeon at Leeds with Desmond, Wright and Morello which were fantastic and yet, here is the man we heard there but didn't!

Lullabies features the other side of Dave Brubeck, no unusual time-signatures or showboating, instead, deeply reflective playing from the heart, for himself, for Iola, for his kids and, most of all, for his grand-kids.

He got it down just in time - he died 2 years later aged 91. How emotional must this album be for his family? I'm clouding over just listening and you'd have to be pretty hardhearted not to!

Lance.

Available Nov. 6 on Verve.

Brahm's Lullaby; When It's Sleepy Time Down South; Over the Rainbow; Danny Boy; Going to Sleep; There's no Place Like Home; Lullaby For Iola; Koto Song; All Through the Night; Softly, William, Softly; A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes; Briar Bush; Sleep; Summertime; Brahm's Lullaby (Reprise).

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