Jazz Fest 2014, Day 3: Nicole shares her thoughts on Brubeck Brothers Quartet


Dan and Chris Brubeck, sons of legendary jazz pianist Dave Brubeck, brought their family's secret recipe to Harro East Ballroom on Sunday night. The Brubeck Brothers Quartet drew a large crowd, perhaps due to the family name. People sat mesmerized, taking in a healthy balance of original tunes, Dave Brubeck classics, and jazz standards.

Regardless of origin, each piece flowed from the Quartet with impeccable ease. I have never seen an act that felt more at home on stage. Each member's instrument seemed like an extension of his body, and it all came together to create a perfect storm of quick rhythms and complicated chords. As intricate and ornate as the music was, the Quartet made it look easy, never once breaking a sweat.

Although each member brought impressive talent, pianist Chuck Lamb was a standout. His fingers flew lightly across the keys. In addition, Chris Brubeck demonstrated a rare mastery of the trombone, producing distinctly clear melodies on an instrument that can easily sound muddy.

Despite the large, fancy venue, the gig had a relaxed and intimate feel. Chris talked fondly about growing up surrounded by legendary musicians like drummer Joe Morello.

It was like being privy to a living room jam session in the Brubeck house. Each tune felt like a gift passed down through the lineage of the Brubeck family.

Tomorrow, I'll be back at Harro East to hear another artist with impressive musical roots: Catherine Russell, daughter of the late Luis Russell. Russell's vocals have been highly praised in the music media, so I'm excited to hear her for myself.