CD Songs [Dave Brubeck] [CD] [1 disc] (CD 962604),
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Songs [Dave Brubeck] [CD] [1 disc]
1. All My Love, for voice & piano
2. Strange Meadow Lark
3. Things You Never Remember, for voice & piano, The
4. So Lonely, for voice & piano
5. Don't Forget Me, for voice & piano
6. There'll Be No Tomorrow, for voice & piano
7. Time of Our Madness, for voice & piano, The
8. Tao for solo voice
9. Final Curve / Search, for voice & piano
10. Dream Dust / Hold Fast to Dreams, for voice & piano
11. Hold Fast to Dreams, for voice & piano
12. Dream Keeper, for 2 voices & piano, The
13. Day after Day, for voice & piano
14. Once When I Was Very Young, for voice & piano
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 9220
Personnel: Dave Brubeck (piano); Cliff Jackson & His Crazy Cats (piano).
Recording information: Gusman Concert Hall, University Of Miami, Frost School (01/09/2004-01/11/2004).
John De Haan, a classically trained tenor, ambitiously tackles both jazz works and concert music written by the legendary Dave Brubeck. Brubeck, who has rarely accompanied vocalists on piano without a small group or an orchestra, is masterful with his backing of De Haan on the first seven selections, as are the pieces themselves. But De Haan fails to realize that an opera singer has to approach jazz vehicles from a different perspective, as a result, he often comes across sounding rather pompous, excessively using vibrato and consistently holding notes far too long. He drags down the normally lyrical "Strange Meadowlark" and makes a mess of "There'll Be No Tomorrow" (Brubeck's haunting tribute to Chopin), though the composer's introduction is breathtaking. Brubeck was commissioned to set several poems by Langston Hughes to music, resulting in the extended work "Hold Fast to Dreams," which has yet to have been documented on CD. De Haan is clearly more at home performing this material, though Cliff Jackson's unexpressive accompaniment suggests that the pianist spent very little time rehearsing these unfamiliar works. Soprano Jane Giering-De Haan displays some of the same problems as her husband on the jazz tracks, absolutely butchering "Hold Fast to Dreams" and overdoing it in her duet with him of "The Dream Keeper." "Once When I Was Very Young," which began life as a poem by Michael Brubeck (the composer's second son), pales in comparison to the a cappella rendition by the Gregg Smith Singers heard on Brubeck's Music Masters CD Once When I Was Very Young. Longtime fans of Dave Brubeck appreciate his gifts both as a composer and pianist in any setting, but these vocal interpretations by John De Haan hardly add an important chapter to Brubeck's legacy. If Kevin Mahogany had sung the jazz pieces and baritone Kevin Deas had performed the classical tracks with pianist John Salmon, it would have been a very different story. ~ Ken Dryden
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Naxos (Distributor) 8559220
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