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Quartet plays tribute to Brubeck in unusual time

Bert Dalton and his quartet pay tribute to Dave Brubeck in two upcoming concerts. (Courtesy Of Dori Dalton)
Bert Dalton and his quartet pay tribute to Dave Brubeck in two upcoming concerts. (Courtesy Of Dori Dalton)
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Bert Dalton and his quartet pay tribute to Dave Brubeck in two upcoming concerts. (Courtesy Of Dori Dalton)

Bert Dalton and his quartet pay tribute to Dave Brubeck in two upcoming concerts. (Courtesy Of Dori Dalton)

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.”

Bert Dalton Quartet
WHEN and WHERE: 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 24 at the Scottish Rite Center, 463 Paseo de Peralta, Santa Fe; and 7:30 p.m. March 28 at the Outpost Performance Space, 210 Yale SE
HOW MUCH: Tickets for the Santa Fe concert are a $20 suggested donation for general seating at the door; and $75 VIP seating by reservation. Call 505-982-4414. VIP seating includes a post-concert champagne reception with the artists. Proceeds benefit the Scottish Rite Masonic Center Historic Preservation Fund. Tickets for the Albuquerque concert are $20 for the general public, $15 students and Outpost members in advance at the Outpost, by calling 268-0044 or at the door

“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.

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