Second Nature

January 1, 2001

Chris (Electric Bass & Trombone) & Dan Brubeck (Drums) are joined by guitarist Mike DeMicco and pianist Pete Levin on the Brubeck Brothers Quartet's debut CD.

REVIEW: "Chris and Dan Brubeck have made a number of recordings together (most of them when they both were part of the rhythm section of their famous father's quartet), and each of them is an outstanding musician in his own right. Joined by two more superb players, guitarist Mike DeMicco and keyboardist Pete Levin, they achieve a very distinct sound of their own, too, even though half of the tracks come from the repertoire of the elder Brubeck's quartet. "Bossa Nova U.S.A." becomes even more lyrical in their hands, with Dan's sensitive drumming backing the mellow solos by the remainder of the quartet; the stunning opening piano solo by Levin disguises the introduction to the jazz standard "In Your Own Sweet Way," setting the table for a delicious bass trombone solo by Chris. Levin switches to organ for an energetic run through the infrequently heard "Cassandra"; but the pièce de résistance among the older, more familiar songs is the slow, very funky take of "Take Five." Chris Brubeck has developed into a formidable composer in his own right and his "We're Still in Love After All These Years" provides a showcase for DeMicco's delicious guitar. DeMicco penned the bittersweet "Lydian Grin," while Levin's hard grooving "When I Was Young" is a strut with an interesting unison blend of DeMicco's guitar and Chris' bass trombone. But the show stopper is easily the final track, "Old World, New World," which dates back to when DeMicco and Dan were members of the Dolphins. It's not just the incredible polyrhythms heard during the drummer's solo but his sudden switch to what literally are heavy duty maracas in place of drumsticks which add to an already stunning performance, without resorting to overdubs." Ken Dryden - All Music