There’s no need for me to go into David Brubeck’s significance to modern music. Others are better suited for that task. Brubeck is firmly entrenched in my earliest music memories, along with Bob Dylan and The Beatles. Unlike those two modern giants of rock music who seeped into my head through Mom’s turntable, Brubeck was introduced to me on AM news radio WBZ 1030 in Boston. I can’t remember who specifically played his music (either Carl DeJesus or Dave Maynard) but it was someone who has long since retired. Almost daily, the morning radio personality would play “Take Five” or “Blue Rondo à la Turk” from his legendary Time Out album. I was very young and probably thought of it as background music. It was until I went jazz crazy in college that I realized it was Brubeck behind those background sounds of my childhood.
I beat the hell out of Time Out and then moved onto Jazz Goes to Junior College (Live); Jazz: Red, Hot and Blue; and Time Further Out. These other albums were good, but none grabbed me like Time Out. It was jazz’s first ‘pop’ album, full of odd rhythm and time signatures. It’s one of those albums I believe everyone should own, and one that I recommend to all of my students (apparently, I am not the only one who makes that recommendation).
All of these scattered thoughts just to say, “thank you, Dave Brubeck.”
And the obligatory offering of sound follows… enjoy:
“Remembering Brubeck” from Take Two on KPCC
“Blue Rondo à la Turk” (vinyl rip)
“In Your Own Sweet Way” (Belgium, 1964)
“Three To Get Ready” (Belgium 1964)
“Take Five” (Belgium, 1964)
I’d be remiss not to mention the wonderful saxophone work of Paul Desmond, who was so vital to Brubeck’s sound.