Indian Summer is largely dull and repetitive, lacking in energy and innovation, and...
Charles De Ledesma 2007
Pianist Dave Brubeck, one of the most popular musicians of the past half century, is a romantic player with a light, lyrical touch. Few jazz players can imbue a tune with such a plaintive quality. He may well be best known for the addictive classic “Take Five”, on his 1959 platinum album, Time Out.
Over the course of a career spanning nearly 70 years, Brubeck’s style has gone in and out of fashion. With mainstream jazz going through something of a renaissance there is renewed interest in this politically engaged man who in the 1950s made a habit of performing behind the Iron Curtain, leaving him with few friends in McCarthy-ite circles.
Indian Summer, a solo studio album, sees Brubeck covering well known jazz standards like “Georgia On My Mind” and “Sweet Lorraine” plus two originals, “Summer Song” and “Thank You”, both slow, reflective pieces which exude a kind of nostalgia for falling leaves, autumn, and a more poised, considered world.
Title track, “Indian Summer”, which Brubeck first recorded fifty years ago, is more of the same. Although there is no doubt that Brubeck’s touch and timing is impeccable, the lack of contrast in the set will leave all but the most dedicated Brubeck connoisseur unmoved. Apologies to fans of this mainstream jazz stalwart, but Indian Summer is largely dull and repetitive, lacking in energy and innovation, and one to pass.