“Dave Brubeck is an American legend. He is an American original who continues to make significant contributions to music and introduced a whole new generation to the world of jazz.” – Clint Eastwood, esteemed actor-director and jazz aficionado
Share the vision of a jazz icon. Indian Summer is Dave Brubeck’s first solo piano recording since his historically resonant 2004 release, Private Brubeck Remembers. This album, the pianist-composer’s eighteenth album with Telarc features a mix of timeless standards along with some of Brubeck’s most contemporary (and complex) work. In many ways, these sixteen songs tell the story of his life.
Indian Summer opens with “You’ll Never Know,” a song which Brubeck recalls from his days as a young soldier leaving his wife, Iola, during World War II. He says in the liner notes, “When I finished recording that tune for this session, I turned to Iola, who was in the studio with me, and told her that I had played that one for her. It brought back memories.”
Brubeck first played “I’m Alone” as a teenager in the 1930s, when waltzes were popular. He follows with two of his own compositions: “Autumn in Our Town” and “So Lonely,” which he says he wrote “about the time our first troops were sent to Iraq and Afghanistan and we were watching on television those tearful goodbyes. We remembered what it was like from when I went overseas in 1944.”
Neither a standard nor an original, “Pacific Hail” is Brubeck’s arrangement of the anthem of his alma mater, College of the Pacific. Later on, Indian Summer features another pair of Brubeck originals: “Summer Song” and “Thank You,” the latter composed as a tribute to Chopin during a State Department tour of Poland in 1958.
One of the most popular musicians of the past half century, Brubeck has hundreds of jazz, classical and religious compositions to his credit. In the 1950s and ’60s, Brubeck led his quartet in appearances on college campuses and in concerts behind the Iron Curtain.
One of the film world’s biggest supporters of jazz, Clint Eastwood – who directed Bird, the 1988 Charlie Parker biopic, and composed the music for his films Flags of Our Fathers and Mystic River – is taking the lead role in producing a new documentary about Brubeck’s life. Director Bruce Ricker, who made a well-regarded film about jazz great Thelonious Monk, will trace Brubeck’s career from his youth on a California ranch to his worldwide renown as a musician and proponent of human rights.
Indian Summer is a showcase for Dave Brubeck’s trademark rhythmic complexity and extraordinary ability to improvise, and proves once again how expansive his creative skills really are.