In one sense, the paired concerts, “Time Out for Brubeck,” are an homage to the late jazz pianist Dave Brubeck, who died in December.
In another sense, the concerts are Bert Dalton’s attempt, as he put it, to recreate the vibe of the Brubeck quartet that he formed in 1951 and that stayed together until 1967. With Brubeck in that legendary ensemble were alto saxophonist Paul Desmond, bassist Eugene Wright and drummer Joe Morello.
The re-creation will employ material from two Brubeck quartet recordings, one of them the famous 1959 album “Time Out.”
“We’re going to use the original arrangements as a jumping off point,” said Dalton, a Santa Fe pianist.
“But just by nature – we are jazz musicians – we will bring our own interpretations. …We want to capture the spirit and the feel of the original quartet. Brubeck never played (tunes) the same way twice.”
The Santa Fe and Albuquerque programs will essentially be the same, and will include the jazz classics “Take Five,” “Blue Rondo a la Turk,” “It’s a Raggedy Waltz,” and “In Your Own Sweet Way.”
In the concerts, Dalton said, he wants audiences to understand the nuances of the compositions, so he’ll explain their complexity “and why it’s such important music … and to hear it live.”
“Up until the Dave Brubeck Quartet, American jazz was mostly in 4/4 time and occasionally in 3/4 time, but the significance of the quartet was that they were playing interesting, expressive jazz within the context of unusual time signatures, such as 9/8, 5/4 and 11/4, and making it seem natural.”
In fact, one composition on the program is titled “Eleven Four.”
Because all four ensemble members were so musically sophisticated, they trusted each other to perform in what Dalton called their “high-wire experimentation right on the bandstand.”
Performing with Dalton in the concerts will be alto saxophonist Dave Anderson, bassist Rob “Milo” Jaramillo and drummer John Bartlit.