Vermilion Sands

Just You, Just Me Dave Brubeck

released: 1994-09-27
on label: Teldec
artist: Dave Brubeck
genre: Cool Jazz
listen at: Apple Deezer Spotify YouTube Music

It had been nearly 40 years since Dave Brubeck’s last solo piano recording when he recorded this relaxed set. Brubeck sounds typically creative yet often wistful on the seven standards, four originals, and a “Tribute to Stephen Foster.” This is a fine addition to Brubeck’s extensive yet consistently satisfying discography.

Dave Brubeck’s first solo recording in roughly four decades also happens to be one of the finest piano recordings released this year. The beauty of his tone, the breadth of his style and the all-encompassing nature of his technique immediately distinguish this CD.

In addition, Brubeck approaches jazz improvisation in utterly individual ways. How many other pianists, after all, would dare turn “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?” into a series of quasi-baroque variations complete with swing-fugue and a culminating, Bach-like finale? In his own “Strange Meadowlark,” Brubeck evokes classic ’20s stride-piano techniques; in “I Married an Angel,” he manages to play fistfuls of notes without obscuring the exquisite melody line. Through it all, Brubeck employs the beguiling musical devices (polytonality, chord clusters and so on) that long ago made him one of the most distinctive voices in jazz.