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Take Five

Dave Brubeck, 1920-2012

Take Five

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4 Responses

  1. Taking five in the sky.
    He was from my neck of the woods. He’ll be missed.
    La times:
    A titan of West Coast jazz, Brubeck was linked with California for much of his career. He was born in Concord, studied at what is now is the University of the Pacific in Stockton and recorded for Berkeley-based Fantasy Records, which helped forge the Bay Area’s sound in the ’50s. But regardless of where a listener was based, the Dave Brubeck catalog was an inevitable destination.

    Part of the reason is “Time Out,” the aptly named 1959 recording that stands with Miles Davis’ “Kind of Blue,” Charles Mingus’ “Mingus Ah Um” and Ornette Coleman’s “Shape of Jazz to Come” as a groundbreaking album during a pivotal year in the evolution of jazz. Where Davis explored modal structures and Coleman blazed into a new world of saxophone, Brubeck was equally inventive for his experimentation with jazz’s heartbeat.

    Written by Brubeck’s saxophonist Paul Desmond, the immediately recognizable “Take Five” was in 5/4; “Blue Rondo à la Turk” — a song inspired by Turkish folk music Brubeck heard while on State Department-sponsored tour — shifts between 9/8 and 4/4; and the whole album continues the theme, shifting between waltz, double waltz and straight time with impossible ease.

    To casual music listeners, such information can look like a fractions exam, but these songs upended the idea of what a jazz song could do. Despite fundamental structure changes (most jazz ticks along at 4/4), Brubeck still swung, and beautifully so.

    http://touch.latimes.com/#section/-1/article/p2p-73580170/

    • Lovely summary from the LA Times, thanks for posting it. Brubeck was one of my favorites, and this news just really bummed me out today. Wish I can something memorable to write, but just feel sad.

  2. Thank you for the recognition. 5/4 is a beautiful thing.

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