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Brubeck Re-forms Octet for NYC Performance

On Monday, March 22, a new version of pianist Dave Brubeck’s very first band, the Dave Brubeck Octet, will perform at New York City’s Avery Fisher Hall, flexing its venerable skill on tunes from its eponymous 1946 Fantasy Records release.

Innovative in its day, the Brubeck Octet fused bop with classical music and created a new sound for standard tunes like “The Way You Look Tonight” and “September in the Rain.” Aside from Brubeck, 83, and clarinetist Bill Smith, 77, (the only original Octet members), the new version of the group is comprised of young whippersnappers, relatively speaking. Trumpeter Lew Soloff is just 60 and bassist Michael Moore is only 59! The real youngsters, however, are Bobby Militello (alto sax), Charles Pillow (tenor sax), Gary Smulyan (baritone sax), Jim Pugh (trombone), and Randy Jones (drums). They weren’t even born when the first Octet put these tunes on wax, but there’s no doubt they’ll do them justice.

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