Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Dave Brubeck
(December 6, 1920-
December 5, 2012)

Dave passed away today at 92.  His quartet with Paul Desmond ( November 25, 1924 – May 30, 1977) initiated me into jazz music.

His love of melody, harmony and good solid swing was unabashed.  His art was filled with musical and social courage.

Here from 1954 is "Le Souk", from the early quartet with Bob Bates on Bass and Joe Dodge on drums.  It's not Gene Wright and Joe Morello but the swing is light, tight and strong, Desmond creates understated tension through his phrasing and use of register, and sets up Dave's bombastic, percussive solo.  Listen to the release as they close it - that's real musical empathy.

And here from 1959 is "Strange Meadow Lark"

And here from 1963 at Carnegie Hall is "Bossa Nova USA", the only melody I can think of that starts with a minor ninth interval.

My sympathy to the Brubecks, a great American musical family, and we'll continue thanking Dave (and Paul) for their many gifts.


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