Wednesday, December 05, 2012

RIP Dave Brubeck

Dave Brubeck, one of the pioneers of West Coast "cool" jazz passed away at age 91. Even non-jazz enthusiasts know the opening notes to Take Five. In the early 1960s, Brubeck drew tons of heat from black musicians, hardcore jazz-heads, and cantankerous jazz writers with logorrhea. They all gave Brubeck guff for being a "sell out" or creating jazz for "white people" in Middle America. If you're a fan of Mad Men, then you'll understand what I mean when I say that if you asked Don Draper in 1963 what his favorite jazz album is, he'd say Dave Brubeck's Time Out.

At the same time, redneck racists loathed Brubeck for hiring black musicians to play in his integrated band. Brubeck did not see color... he wanted to sit in with the best musicians that he could find... black, white, yellow, purple, or polkadot.

Eventually the music community warmed up and grew to respect Brubeck for his innovative approach to jazz composition.

Here's Brubeck performing Take Five for the BBC circa 1964...


And here's the Dave Brubeck quartet performing a full set in Belgium on October 10, 1964...


And thanks to my buddy Homer for pointing out this epic cover of Take Five by Rodrigo y Gabriela....

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