JVC Jazz Festival
Dave Brubeck Quartet
Dave Brubeck on Piano, Bobby Militello on Flute and Saxophone, Michael Moore on Bass,
Randy Jones on Drums.
Shirley Horn Trio
Shirley Horn on Vocals and Piano,
George Mesterhazy on Piano, Ed Howard on Bass,
Steve Williams on Drums
By Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
Produced by George Wein
Performed at Carnegie Hall
881 Seventh Avenue
NY, NY 10019
Publicity by Festival Productions
Charles Bourgeois, Director
June 27, 2003
What a treat to finally see Dave Brubeck in person after listening to his music all these years. I'm a longtime fan of Time Out, Take Five, and Time Further Out, his original signature recordings, and tonight I was able to hear his more contemporary side, as well as to view this amazingly relaxed Quartet, so comfortable and supportive of each other, so seasoned and tuned into each other's tempo and timing. They're a gray, but powerful, combo, and I honestly worried for Booby Militello on saxophone, as he turned red and went off the charts with a blazing fire of furious sound, bringing the vintage audience to a raucous roar.
The rich swing rhythms were vibrant, lively, and exciting, with Dave Brubeck as the obvious leader, who has constant eye contact with his musical team. At times, Michael Moore, on bass, used his bow to melancholy effect, and at other times he blended with warmth and texture. Randy Jones, on drums, was perfect on percussion, as my dance image or listening impression changed from swing, to what could have been a great foxtrot or cha cha.
Someday My Prince Will Come, a favorite of mine, was melodic, with Mr. Brubeck's piano lead, and then jazzy, as his band kicked in. London Flat, London Sharp, a very new piece, was contemporary and unique, fast and progressive. It contained a wild saxophone passage that again showcased the extremely talented Mr. Militello. However, the star of this set was clearly Mr. Brubeck, smiling and sensational, still in full command of his kinetic keyboard and his loyal fans. A standing ovation was automatic and extended.
Shirley Horn (See JVC Peggy Lee Tribute) is quite disabled from ongoing illness, and she used notes and cues to recall her lyrics. In a medley of her favorite standards, with significant assistance from her trio of musicians, she endeared herself to the very sympathetic and adoring audience, who remained silent during her occasional lapses of memory and gave her a standing ovation as she entered and exited the stage. Miss Horn is to be commended for assuming such a personal challenge, to appear on the stage of Carnegie Hall at this point in her career, after so many of her peers have long retired. When she moved to the piano bench to play and sing the concluding song, she appeared in peak form with total recall and range of vocalization. I think Miss Horn would be well suited these days to appear in small clubs, at the piano, singing to her fans their favorite ballads and humorous melodies, as she is so talented, charming, and charismatic.
Kudos to JVC Festival Productions for this wonderful event.