Dave Brubeck is still going strong at the age of 83 during this 2004 concert in Baden-Baden at the Festspielhaus, well accompanied by alto saxophonist Bobby Militello, bassist Michael Moore, and his longtime drummer Randy Jones. At a point where many jazz musicians rest on their laurels, revisiting past hits exclusively, the pianist mixes in several recent songs. His quartet easily negotiates the demands of his tricky "London Flat, London Sharp" while Brubeck's haunting "Elegy" showcases Militello on flute and Moore's matchless arco bass. Jones is featured extensively in "Out of the Way of the People" and the inevitable "Take Five." Although Brubeck seems reserved during several of the performances, his lyrical touch is evident throughout much of the concert, which is capped by an encore consisting of a single chorus of "Brahms' Lullaby" at the piano.
Recorded 1952-1954. This CD reissues two earlier Fantasy LPs titled Jazz at the Black Hawk and Jazz at Storyville. Pianist Dave Brubeck and altoist Paul Desmond are the two main constants while bassists Ron Crotty and Wyatt Ruther and drummers Lloyd Davis, Herb Barman and Joe Dodge are heard on some tracks. There are many high points to this interesting set including Brubeck-Desmond duets on "Over the Rainbow" and "You Go to My Head," an unaccompanied piano solo on "My Heart Stood Still" and quartet versions of "Jeepers Creepers," "Trolley Song" and "Crazy Chris."
Along with his Rock Fabulous Orchestra, Dave Stewart of Eurythmics fame presents what amounts to a best-of collection on The Dave Stewart Songbook Volume One. In addition to smash-hits from Eurythmics such as “Sweet Dreams” and “Here Comes the Rain Again,” the songbook includes timeless tracks penned by Stewart including Tom Petty’s “Don’t Come Around Here No More,” No Doubt’s “Underneath It All,” Mick Jagger’s “Old Habits Die Hard” (which earned Dave and Mick a Golden Globe award), Celine Dion’s “Taking Chances” and songs written and produced for U2, Sinead O’Connor, Jon Bon Jovi, Bryan Ferry, Bob Geldof, Beyonce, Sarah McLaughlan, Shakespear’s Sister and Candy Dulfer. All songs have been with recorded with his touring band and a full orchestra.
The Dave Pell Octet was one of the great West Coast jazz-style cool combos of the 1950s. This CD reissues the band's two Johnny Burke/Jimmy Van Heusen albums. Lucy Ann Polk sings eight of the 16 selections, and she is a major asset, displaying a relaxed, straightforward, basic, and winning approach, warmly uplifting each song. The arrangements are by Shorty Rogers, Wes Hensel, Bill Holman, Bob Enevoldsen, Jack Montrose, Med Flory, Jim Emerson, and Buddy Bregman.
On their major-label debut, Under the Table and Dreaming, the Dave Matthews Band is helped by the lean production of Steve Lillywhite, who manages to rein in the group's tendency to meander. The result is a set of eclectic pop/rock that is accentuated by bursts of instrumental virtuosity instead of being ruled by it. That also means that the Dave Matthews Band is capable of turning out pop songs, and as the hit single "What Would You Say" and "Ants Marching" illustrate, they have a flair for catchy hooks.
Tragedy has a way of putting everything into perspective, a truism that's brought into sharp relief by the Dave Matthews Band. LeRoi Moore, the group's saxophonist, died in 2008, something that shook the DMB to their core and they've responded as any working band does: by carrying on, playing gigs – including one on the day of his passing – and finishing the album they were recording at the time of his death, turning Big Whiskey & the GrooGrux King into a tribute to their fallen comrade. By saluting his spirit, DMB wind up returning to their roots, jettisoning any of the well-manicured crossover pop of Stand Up and reviving the loose-limbed jams that were their '90s specialty, a sound they've largely abandoned – at least on record – since 1998's Before These Crowded Streets. During that long, long decade between Before and Big Whiskey, DMB remained one of America's biggest bands even though much of those ten years found Matthews working through various existential crises – things got too big so he pulled away from the band, turned out a dark solo record, then came back – and his namesake band drifted along with him. Here, everything snaps back into focus: what was glossy is now clean and unvarnished; there is no avoidance of their rangy, loping rhythms or predilection for elastic solos; and these signatures – shunned on record, not on-stage – are embraced warmly, given muscle, and married to the dark undercurrents that have flowed throughout Matthews' new-millennium writing.
This intriguing set features percussionist Mino Cinelu with Kevin Eubanks (on acoustic guitar) and bassist Dave Holland. They perform four Eubanks songs, three by Holland, and two from Cinelu, music that ranges from exotic sounds to light and creative funk grooves. It is quite intriguing hearing Eubanks sticking exclusively to his acoustic guitar and Cinelu adds plenty of catchy yet unpredictable rhythms. However, Holland often takes solo honors and he usually holds the group together with his authoritative and flexible sound. Very interesting music that's worth listening to closely several times.