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Chris Brubeck’s Triple Play : Live at Arthur Zankel Music Center

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While bass-trombonist-pianist-composer Chris Brubeck has spent a lot of time over the past decade working in orchestral settings (his “Concerto for Bass Trombone and Orchestra” with the London Symphony Orchestra led to a series of classical commissions), he returns to his blues-rock-jazz roots on this intimate, stripped-down outing. It also reunites him with harmonica ace Peter “Madcat” Ruth, his former bandmate in two early ’70s groups, Two Generations of Brubeck and the hippie jam-band New Heavenly Blue.

The core trio of Brubeck, Ruth and Joel Brown on acoustic guitar flies through a lively version of the earthy blues staple “Rollin’ & Tumblin'” (recalling the ’70s-era Siegel-Schwall Blues Band, minus the drums). They are joined by 85-year-old clarinetist Frank Brown on Robert Johnson’s “Phonograph Blues,” with Ruth switching to ukulele. Brubeck plays piano on a delicate rendition of his father Dave’s sparsely appointed “Koto Song” (from 1964’s Jazz Impressions of Japan) that features vibrant interplay between Ruth’s harmonica and Brown’s clarinet. He also showcases some slick Professor Longhair-styled piano work on his own 5/4 ditty “Mighty Mrs. Hippy.”

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