Nominated for 2016 vocal Jazz album of the year!
A labor of love by Dan Brubeck, celebrating songs created by the longtime, but little-known musical collaboration of his mother and father.
• 14 songs, 2 disks
• recorded live by the Dan Brubeck Quartet
• 10 songs with lyrics by Iola Brubeck
The 28-page booklet includes:
• song notes written for this project by Iola Brubeck
• 22 historical images spanning Dave Brubeck’s career
• complete lyrics by Iola
...A double disc set of pure goodness...
More about the creation of “Celebrating...” project follows below.
The Dan Brubeck Quartet’s two-disc set casts a penetrating light on a brilliant but little-known chapter in the creative alliance between Dave and Iola Brubeck that transformed the way jazz is presented and perceived. Essential for Brubeck fans and an invaluable resource for American Songbook aficionados looking for fresh material, Celebrating… is a strong candidate for jazz vocal album of the year.
Dan, the second youngest of the Dave and Iola’s six children, has long wanted to explore some of the songs and lyrics that his parents collaborated on over the years. The opportunity recently arose with some of the finest jazz players in the Vancouver, Canada, including saxophonist Steve Kaldestad, pianist Tony Foster, and bassist/vocalist Adam Thomas.
In the midst of the Quartet's exceptional talent, Thomas is one of the project’s most delightful revelations. A startlingly soulful singer who puts a personal stamp on a wide array of material, he delivers an impressive vocal debut. Fittingly, “Sweet Way” is the track that opens the album, and like many of the pieces that follow, Iola wrote the lyrics specifically for a jazz legend (Carmen McRae). Iola, who died last year at the age of 90, wrote incisive insider commentary about the songs for album’s liner notes. Dave Brubeck passed in 2012 at the age of 91.
Thomas’s most impressive feat is the easygoing authority he brings to interpreting songs the Brubecks created with Louis Armstrong in mind. He swings joyfully on “Since Love Had Its Way,” and wrings every wistful drop from the masterpiece “Summer Song,” an intoxicating draught of song that has unaccountably remained uncovered until this year (both songs were introduced by Satchmo in the Brubecks’ politically astute jazz musical The Real Ambassadors). Adding to the aching poignancy of “Summer Song” is the fact that the chorus serves as Dave and Iola’s epitaph.
"Celebrating…" is more than an act of filial love. It’s a brilliantly realized statement about the capacity of even the best known artists to surprise. With Thomas’s masterly vocals reintroducing the songs of Dave and Iola Brubeck, it seems unlikely they’ll remain hidden much longer. “I want people to cover these tunes,” Dan says. “They’ve been buried, but once singers hear them, I think a lot of them are going to want to do them.”
DBQ performing Live at the Cellar, August 2013. Tracks for the “Celebrating the music and Lyrics of Dave and Iola Brubeck” 2 CD disk set were recorded at these performances over a 3-day period.