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Dave Brubeck is probably the best-known jazz pianist in the world thanks to his classic 1959 recording "Take Five". Now in his 80s he is still recording innovative and adventurous music with a quartet featuring Bobby Militelloon alto sax and flute and British bassist Alec Dankworth.
Recorded in autumn 2000 in Cincinnati and Cleveland, Dave Brubeck's "i"The Crossing finds the octogenarian maestro in excellent shape both as pianist and writer. All nine compositions are his and such pieces as the lovely "Day By Day" and the pulsating "Randy Jones" named after the group's drummer show that he has lost none of his feel for an arresting line and polytonal invention. He has, however, lost Paul Desmond--a quarter of a century ago too: the altoist was frankly irreplaceable and for all Bobby Militello's energy and undoubted virtuosity, neither his solos nor his rapport with the leader are in the same league. That is nevertheless not as censorious as it might seem: he plays very well on the closing "Hold Fast To Dreams" and his flute work is a most fetching addition to Brubeck's orchestral palette. Alec Dankworth on bass is prodigious and the leader's pianism continues to compel and delight. Long gone are the days when sneering at him was PC, the hipster's dubious categorical imperative: Brubeck is now rightly revered as a player of driving enterprise and comprehensive skill. The Crossing may not scale the heights of the finest Brubeck-Desmond enterprises of the 1950s and 1960s but is a stimulating set that is eminently worth buying. --Richard Palmer
If you love eating at French bistros, you'll love learning how you can recreate this cuisine at home.
Brussels Sprout and Kale Caesar Salad with Homemade Croutons
Shreds of Brussels sprouts and baby kale, tossed with a creamy Caesar dressing, topped off with crunchy homemade croutons.