The lively Brubeck tune "I'm In a Dancing Mood" is a treat, a piece with Morello's dancing drums that the Quartet often played in person but left off the 1959 album. It's easy to hear the various time changes through the piece with the drummer often leading the way. "Watusi Jam" is a trio piece (sans Desmond); the track features an extended drum solo, very elemental (one can really hear the African roots of drumming). If it was considered a "warm-up" for the evening recording session, this track illustrates that this group of musicians were always working on new ideas.
"Time OutTakes" serves as both a reminder of how the Dave Brubeck Quartet was one of the rare jazz ensembles to reach many different audiences and how much the four members of the group enjoyed each other's company and talents. Historically important? Yes! Fun? Very much so! A welcome addition to the Brubeck discography.
For more information, go to www.davebrubeck.com/time-outtakes.
Enjoy the lively opening track:
I so rarely review "Holiday" albums but I just received a delightful recording that is spirited without being sarcastic.
August Knobbe (acoustic and electric piano), and Joshua Parker (drums). They approach the pieces with an eye on honoring the influences including musicians such as Art Blakey, James Brown, The Bad Plus, John Coltrane, and others. The band calls how they create the pieces as "derangements"; fair enough, but this music is hardly "crazy." Great fun, however.
There's one track that Davis recorded two years ago with a different ensemble; "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch" packs quite a punch. The lead vocal, performed by Ken Ballard (who also plays keyboards) is shadowed by Callandra Youngelson and pushed forward by the active rhythm section of
Kyle Dugger (drums) and Alex Hodge (electric bass). The combination of electric piano and the vibraphone of Destin Wernicke makes for a pleasing background. The performance has different textures than the rest of the program yet is not out of place.
No, the Simeon Davis Group has not created the musical equivalent of a Holiday stocking full of coal. Instead, "Bah Humbug: An Absolutely Unnecessary Christmas Album" should bring a smile to those who enjoy music that takes chances by playing with tradition but does so in the spirit of creativity and fun. A delight-filled present!
For more information and to purchase the album, go to https://simeondavisgroup.bandcamp.com/album/bah-humbug-an-absolutely-unnecessary-christmas-album.
Here's a taste: