Picks and Pans Review: The Crossing
Few musicians have Dave Brubeck's gift for pacing, and the 80-year-old pianist isn't losing his timing late in his career. Brubeck (best known for the 1959 jazz classic "Take Five") still has a calm touch in his tastefully melodic improvisations and shows characteristic generosity in doling out solo time to bassist Alec Dankworth, drummer Randy Jones and, in particular, alto saxophonist Bobby Militello. The songs are all originals, including the meditative "Bessie" and "All My Love," tributes to Brubeck's mother and wife, respectively. While The Crossing lacks innovation, it's an ideal introduction to Brubeck for those who may not have been hip to him before his prominent appearance in Ken Burns's PBS jazz documentary.
Bottom Line: Play on, piano man