Carrying on family's good name
THE Brubeck name should be enough to guarantee a full house at Sunday's big Swansea Festival show.
Kind of Brubeck features a son Darius, rather than the father Dave, and while he might not have the same hit-records cachet as his dad, Darius is more than worthy of picking up the family baton.
He shares an acoustic set in the well-dressed company of long-term band-mates and studio chums Dave O'Higgins, Matt Ridley and Wesley Gibbens.
A pianist with a refined, mellifluous style, Darius has spent a good heft of his professional life in South Africa, where he set up the first degree course in jazz studies at any African university.
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He taught in Durban, and was later appointed Director of the Centre for Jazz and Popular Music, propagating the seeds of jazz under the rockiest of conditions, with the approval of the ANC. He heads to Swansea's Taliesin Arts Centre at 7.30pm for A Kind Of Brubeck.
The reputation of his father and the legacy of Dave's biggest hit, the air time chomping Take Five, follows him everywhere, of course, even to South Africa.
But he accepts its blessing and its weight graciously.
"I went to South Africa because my wife Catherine, who is also my manager and who is a big part of my musical life, is from South Africa."
An old friend of hers was keen to set up a jazz department to nurture the many fine musicians who were learning independently of any formal support, because of the political and the cultural foment at work there at the time.
"But yes, there was an element of me wanting to make a career in another continent away from Dave's reputation.
"Remember, my father was still very much a touring musician and as far as venues are concerned who would they rather book, Dave or Darius Brubeck?
"But I am more comfortable now, as a man in my mature years, with the inevitable comparisons.
"While I have my own style of playing I have Dave's big hands and his DNA so of course I am going to get much of my pianist skills from him."
It was however by no means a foregone conclusion that he would take up jazz, growing up as he did in the time of Beatlemania and the singer songwriter boom means music of all kinds rang his bell, and Booker T and Otis Redding rang it the loudest.
"I was very much, and I am still very much, an admirer of Bob Dylan — of his books and his songs.
"I loved the Beatles, I loved Motown and I was a very big fan of Stax.
"I fact I was excited to go to the Stax recording studios quite recently, which have now been turned into a museum.
"I did a workshop there with a group of students who played Take Five to me, as people often feel they need to. But I love that Stax sound."
Take Five has been a pivotal part of the Brubeck legacy and the fact that it has found itself onto countless adverts for the past five decades, long after it burned up the charts, is a source of pride, he says.
"I am proud of Take Five, not least because its writer, who I loved, Paul Desmond, arranged for the royalties from it to go to the International Red Cross.
"And also for the way it has entered the language of popular culture.
"It is like Shakespeare. "We quote Shakespeare from time to time without knowing necessarily what play the line comes from — those quotations are a part of our language now and Take Five is like that, which I think is a great achievement."