LIVE: The Brubeck Brothers Quartet @ Universal Preservation Hall, 8/1/14

August 12th, 2014, 3:00 pm by Greg

The Brubeck Brothers Quartet (photo by Corey Aldrich)

Review by J Hunter
Photograph by Corey Aldrich

I have an ironclad rule: NEVER go into downtown Saratoga Springs when the Flat Track is open. However, ironclad rules are made to be sold for scrap and melted down – particularly when I’m offered the chance to check out both the Brubeck Brothers Quartet and one of the most striking concert spaces the Spa City has ever seen.

A Victorian Gothic church built in 1871, Universal Preservation Hall has been under various stages of rehab since the start of this century. The main hall needs to be seen to be believed: We’re talking a real cathedral ceiling, with flying buttresses that will take your breath away and a huge slab of gorgeous exposed brick where the church organ used to be. There’s plenty more work to do (HVAC still needs to be installed – something that became patently obvious as the evening went on), but given the commitment and energy of the board members and volunteers I met on this evening, there’s no doubt in my mind that it’s going to get done.

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LIVE: The Brubeck Brothers Quartet @ Skidmore College’s Zankel Center, 4/13/12

April 25th, 2012, 2:00 pm by Greg
Chris and Dan Brubeck

Chris Brubeck and Dan Brubeck

Review by J Hunter
Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

The little girl in the front row was about my niece’s age, and for most of the Brubeck Brothers Quartet’s two-set performance at Skidmore’s Arthur Zankel Music Center, she’d been having a famously good time – dancing, clapping, spinning, and smiling the biggest smile you ever wanted to see. Then in the second set, just as bassist Chris Brubeck announced the song “Friends Across Time,” the girl burst into tears and loudly announced, “Mommy, I wanna go home!”

Amidst the laughter from the crowd (most of whom were as endeared by the girl’s earlier behavior as I was), pianist Chuck Lamb cracked, “She HATES that song!”

The mother gathered the crying girl up in her arms and started carrying her out of the hall. I looked over at Brubeck, and was surprised to see him caught up in hysterical laughter, holding his bass trombone in his hands. Then he stepped up to the mic and told us, “I think my granddaughter just hit the wall!” Laughter and “Awwwwwwwws” ensued, and the departing girl got what might have been her first round of applause.

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Multi-Talented Chris Brubeck Leads the Brubeck Brothers Quartet into Town, 8/5/11

August 4th, 2011, 1:00 pm by Greg
Chris Brubeck

Chris Brubeck

Back in June when Nippertown last saw ebullient multi-instrumentalist Chris Brubeck, he and his cohorts in Chris Brubeck’s Triple Play – guitarist/vocalist/Skidmore’s Dean of Music Joel Brown and harp player/percussionist/all-around madman Peter Madcat Ruth – were making the Zankel Music Center dance with a little help from Joel’s father Frank Brown (who’s a hell of a clarinet player) and a very distinguished older gentleman named Dave Brubeck.

The younger Brubeck will be back in Nippertown on Friday, when the Brubeck Brothers Quartet warms up for the Newport Jazz Festival with a gig at Gallagher’s Banquet Hall in Cairo. Brubeck was gracious enough to provide the following interview:

You play piano, fretless bass and bass trombone – all with equal amounts of dexterity and creativity. Which instrument did you gravitate to first, and how did the others come into your life?

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