Not just Stockfish on modern hardware can evaluate fewer nodes than Deep Blue and still beat it left and right; in 1995 Fritz on a Pentium was able to beat Deep Thought II at the world chess championship. Deep Blue and its ancestors, with their custom hardware, were perhaps the "most brute force" of all chess engines.
Number of nodes searched is not the key metric for gauging how “smart” the algorithm is. You have less nodes searched but you only got there by having way more upfront processing.
We need some baseline to call it "brute force".