Ubuntu Music is delighted to announce the signing of The Darius Brubeck Quartet (DBQ), led by pianist Darius Brubeck. The album, Live in Poland, was recorded at the prestigious Blue Note in Poznan and will be released on Ubuntu Music in Spring 2020.
Born in San Francisco, Darius grew up in the artistic milieu of his famous father Dave and has enjoyed a lifetime of varied international experience as bandleader, composer, teacher and broadcaster.
“I was invited to Poland three times in 2018, the 60th anniversary of the 1958 classic Dave Brubeck Quartet’s tour of this country. With the end of World War I in 1918, it was also the 100th anniversary of Polish independence. Szczecin (where I played on stage for the first time when I was 10 years old) was the first stop on the 1958 tour and the first city visited during my initial trip. I appeared for one number, inevitably “Take Five”, with Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra as part of the celebrations”, Darius explains.
“I was deeply moved to find that my father’s tour was associated in the Solidarity Museum with the beginning of the movement that liberated Poland from Soviet domination. Szczecin Jazz invited me back with my London-based quartet to perform at an arts festival the following month. The third time was for a tour of the six cities where the Dave Brubeck Quartet had performed; the first American jazz group to play behind the ‘Iron Curtain’, starting in – you guessed it – Szczecin. Suffused with political meaning for the audience and my boyhood memories of witnessing the devastation left by war with my late brother Michael and my parents, this was no ordinary concert tour.”
VIDEO: The Darius Brubeck Quartet ‘Live in Poland’ Documentary Trailer
Darius continues by explaining the formation of his quartet and the creation of this recording project. “The Darius Brubeck Quartet features Dave O’Higgins (sax), Matt Ridley (bass) and Wesley Gibbens (drums) and has been together for 12 years. The four of us, along with Cathy, my wife and manager, make important decisions together. The plan was to record every night of the tour and choose the best takes but, in the end, we decided that the last night at the Blue Note in Poznan (the only Jazz Club we played) was it. You might say the album should’ve been called ‘Live in Poznan’. However, this performance was the culmination of a tour of sold out concert halls and standing ovations. The band was at a peak, especially in terms of communication with each other and the audience. As the saying goes, the music speaks for itself. I want to thank Dave, Matt and Wesley for their great playing, professional attitude and artistic wisdom, Cathy for her excellent management and Sylwester Ostrowski (OS Jazz), a great Polish saxophonist, for his concept and organization.”
Left to Right: Dave O’Higgins, Wesley Gibbens, Darius Brubeck, Matt Ridley.
In terms of joining the Ubuntu Music Family, Darius says, “Cathy and I released four Darius Brubeck Quartet albums on our own Gathering Forces label, which have done well for us and the band, but there are limits to this. All of us believe that signing with Ubuntu Music for ‘Live in Poland’ is significant and will take things up a level. Working with Martin Hummel and his Ubuntu team will give us access to marketing, media promotion and distribution we haven’t had until now. Martin understands where we’re coming from as artists and how far we can go. We are delighted with this transition as we would like as many people as possible to hear ‘Live in Poland’. Being with a prestigious label increases our reach and, as a result, I will now have more time for writing. Interestingly, Dave O’Higgins also has a deal with Ubuntu, so we’re in the same boat. May it sail on successfully!”
Martin Hummel, Director of Ubuntu Music, describes his passion for the project. “It’s difficult to know where to start. I grew up as a kid with Dave Brubeck’s music playing in our house all the time. I fast-forward to the multiple occasions I’ve heard Darius Brubeck play live in London, with his brothers and with his Quartet—both of which feature Dave O’Higgins on sax, who ranks as one of my favourite tenor players on the jazz scene. And here we are now, commemorating Dave Brubeck’s historical 1958 Poland tour with Darius following his father’s footsteps 60 years later, and a recording that captures this timeless musical magic. It just doesn’t get much better than this. We are delighted beyond words to be working with Darius and the Quartet. We simply cannot wait to release this exceptional live recording next year.”