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Thread: Dave Brubeck, R.I.P.

  1. #1
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    Dave Brubeck, R.I.P.

    We lost one of America's finest composer and musician today, Dave Brubeck.

    Jazz is such an eclectic collection of musical visions and styles, it's almost redundant to call an individual jazz artist "unique." But Dave Brubeck truly was. His compositions as well as his recordings with the Dave Brubeck Quartet had the ability to keep progressive jazz on a high intellectual level yet at the same time accessible to the average listener, who not only thoroughly enjoyed the music but actually learned something in the process. Even so, Dave Brubeck experimented with time signatures and complex rhythms, an artistic choice that was unprecedented for an era when (as now) success tended to shine only upon the simple, the safe and the predictable.

    As the msn article points out, Dave showed how any melody, from Mozart "Blue Rondo a la Turk" to popular standards, such as Johnny Mercer's "Tangerine," could be given a rollicking jazz treatment. Whether he was composing and performing, the man was extraordinarily versatile.

    Like a few other jazz musicians before him-- Louis Armstrong and Benny Goodman -- Dave Brubeck made several world tours, in which he helped establish positive images of American life, art, and music, and his contribution toward helping to thaw international relations during the Cold War cannot be forgotten.

    But I think Dave Brubeck and his Quartet will be most remembered for the song that introduced many Americans to the country's only indigenous art form. "Take Five" -- which, though the word has been dreadfully overused -- was truly a "cultural icon."

    So long, Dave! We'll miss you.

  2. #2
    Justifiably inexcusable DocHeart's Avatar
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    Rest in peace, piano man.

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  3. #3
    A 40 Bag To Freedom E.A Rumfield's Avatar
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    In my mind I guess.
    Take Five. Everybody have a drink for Dave, Straight, No Chaser. The piano is a percussion instrument. Three people realized that, Dave Brubeck, Thelonious Monk and Frederic Chopin.
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  4. #4
    running amok Sancho's Avatar
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    So long, Dave. The part of your brain devoted to music was huge.

  5. #5
    Artist and Bibliophile stlukesguild's Avatar
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    A sad day indeed. Brubeck was one of the last of the great... nay "heroic" generation of American jazz musicians. He was one of the few of the more mellow or "smooth" (now a horribly misused term applied to the likes of Kenny G and such ****) West Coast jazz performers that could hold his own in an era populated by geniuses such as Parker, Monk, Miles and Coletrane. Brubeck studied with the classical composers Darius Milhaud and (of all people!) Arnold Schoenberg and along with Lennie Tristano, he brought a new sophistication to Jazz while never losing the ability to swing out. The Dave Brubeck Quartet featuring Paul Desmond on alto saxophone was one of the greatest jazz ensembles ever recording such classic albums as Jazz at Oberlin, Jazz Goes to College, and Take Five. He will be missed.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by stlukesguild View Post
    The Dave Brubeck Quartet featuring Paul Desmond on alto saxophone [/I].
    I'm so glad you mentioned Paul Desmond, whom we also lost several decades ago. I love(d) the "call-and-response," back-and-forth interplay between Dave and Paul; a prime example is "Tangerine" (found on a two-disc boxed CD) in which the pianist and saxophonist are mutually surprised by the respective improvisations. You can hear the appreciative giggles
    of delight right there on the recording.

    And-- since it's that time of year again when Christmas music dominates the airwaves, if you're lucky enough to have a radio station that includes jazz on their playlist, maybe you'll get a chance to hear Paul Desmond's solo recording of "What Child is This?" (same melody as "Greensleeves.") It's hauntingly lyrical.

    PS -- " the country's only indigenous art form." --A.S. in the original post^^^.

    Dave Brubeck had what one might call a dry sense of humor. I'd be willing to bet that he probably got a kick out of Bart's cultural comment on The Simpsons:
    "Ah, comic books-- America's only native art form. I don't count jazz-- 'cause it sucks!"
    Last edited by AuntShecky; 12-07-2012 at 04:27 PM.

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