Here comes yet another excellent release by the Brubeck Brothers Quartet. Lifetimes possesses the necessary elements of this music—swing, vitality, and taste. Bassist and bass trombonist Chris Brubeck, drummer brother Dan, guitarist Mike DeMicco, and pianist Chuck Lamb decided on their fourth release to "show some heartfelt appreciation" for the compositions of Chris and Dan's father, pianist Dave Brubeck. With the death of Dave in December, predictably one could listen to Lifetimes with sadness and sympathy. Don't do that: Listen to it with as much swing, vitality, and taste as Lifetimes delivers.
Half of the tunes are Dave Brubeck's: "The Duke," composed in 1955 in tribute to Duke Ellington; "Jazzanians," inspired by keyboardist brother Darius's group; "My One Bad Habit," taken from a quip made by Ella Fitzgerald; and "Kathy's Waltz," penned for daughter Cathy (the misspelling lives on!). Lamb owns two compositions—the up-tempo "Go Round" and "The Girl from Massapequa." The quick-tappin' "Prezcence" belongs to DeMicco, a Hudson Valley resident. Not one tune takes a backseat to another, not even saxophonist Paul Desmond's classic "Take Five," the soulful, 10-minutes-plus romp that closes the release. If nostalgia does sting you as you're listening to Lifetimes, you'll smile as much as father Dave does in the CD jacket's family photo collage. Brubeckbrothers.com.