Brubeck

True story – I was watching this video (embedding has been disabled, so you gotta click over) yesterday, probably about 2-3 hours before I heard that Dave Brubeck had passed away at 91.  It’s jazz guitar great George Benson playing “Take Five”.

I’ve never been a huge jazz fan.  Not quite to this level…:

…but it’s not like I’ve never felt that jazz, especially in its late-fifties bebop incarnation, was a self-indulgent, self-referential little musical ghetto that squares just weren’t intended to get.

Sort of like this:

But I saw Dave Brubeck in 1985 at the U of M. It was bebop, and very very very proficient…

…and unexpectedly human. Which was not something I’d expected.

“Take Five” was his biggest hit – selling a million copies, which was unprecedented in the jazz business:

RIP Dave Brubeck.

5 thoughts on “Brubeck

  1. but it’s not like I’ve never felt that jazz, especially in its late-fifties bebop incarnation, was a self-indulgent, self-referential little musical ghetto that squares just weren’t intended to get.

    I understand that, but I figure it’s pretty much axiomatic that I’m a square, so I like Davis, Monk, Coltrane, Parker, Gillespie and the rest just because I enjoy the music. Whether I am a square doesn’t particularly matter, especially if I cough up the dough for their music.

    Hell, a lot of musicians don’t like squares — Sly and the Family Stone’s Cynthia Robinson sings “all the squares go home” on “Dance to the Music.” And I enjoy Sly Stone a lot, too.

    The thing about Brubeck is that he was a teacher at heart, which is why he performed so often on college campuses. He saw music as something that is universal. I saw a comment on another blog that described him and his quartet as “jazzbos who look like Barry Goldwater.” That he looked like a square but wasn’t was part of the act, I’ve always thought. And because he was (a) tremendously talented and (b) smart enough to keep Paul Desmond in his employ, he left behind a lot of great music.

  2. Ah, Mose. I’d like to dedicate his “Your Mind’s On Vacation and Your Mouth is Working Overtime” to a certain troll that hounds these pages.

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