December 20, 2011

Dear Friends,

I celebrated my 91st birthday just two weeks ago today. As Eubie Blake remarked on his 100th birthday, “If I’d known I was gonna live this long I would have taken better care of myself." Although I have retired from touring, I’m still at the piano every day and am thinking about doing another solo piano album of wonderful old tunes that most people have forgotten. It seems I’m about the only one left who still remembers them.

Sony/Legacy has been busy producing some new/old releases. “Their Last Time Out" has never been issued as an LP or CD, the tape only having been discovered this past year. It is a live recording of the last concert, December 1967, of the “classic" quartet with Paul Desmond, Joe Morello and Eugene Wright. Although we did get together in 1976 for a reunion tour, at that moment we all thought this would be our last time on the stage together, so there is a special atmosphere and emotion that can be detected in this live taping.

On my 91st birthday Sony/Legacy released a boxed set of CDs consisting of all (19) of the old Quartet’s studio recordings including the very first, “Brubeck Time". The set includes the jazz impressions albums-- U.S.A, Eurasia, Japan, New York; the composer series—Cole Porter, Richard Rodgers, Matt Dennis—as well as the four “Time" series LPs and some of my favorites such as “Dave Digs Disney", “Gone With the Wind" and “Southern Scene".

Since my birthday is in December, the combination of birthday cards and Christmas cards and holiday greetings causes a cascade of mail in our letter box. I wish I could answer every one of them, but there is no way that I could do it, so I am hoping that you will have checked our website where I want to print in very large letters
I am so grateful to all of you who have followed my music through the years and surprised and happy when young listeners tell me they have discovered and like my music. I hope this will lead them to explore more of the great jazz legacy.

Iola joins me in sending your way a warm wish for HAPPY HOLIDAYS and a blessed Christmas.