Dave Brubeck: In Their Own Sweet Way

There’s an unfortunate temptation to lapse into wisecracks regarding this latest Brubeck family outing, the most expansive to date-unfortunate because there’s some fine music on this disc. But father Brubeck’s characteristic stiffness leaves me feeling like a native speaker confronted by a foreign scholar: the grammar and syntax are perfect, but the fluency just isn’t there. That said, the ensemble displays the kind of empathy one would expect from family: Chris, on electric bass (and bass trombone on one track), Dan on drums, Darius on piano and electric piano are much as we have heard before. Matthew brings his ‘cello (and a tasty quote from Rollins’ “Blue 7”) to the proceedings for the first time. The result is a very rich sound-beautifully recorded, as one expects from Telarc. If there’s a problem it’s that feeling takes a back seat to precision in the ensemble readings.