With four other boys I went to Colston Hall Bristol along with our Chemistry master to hear Brubeck Desmond Wright & Morello in the late sixties. I still have the programme and it was this that started my love of jazz. As sixth formers had an unofficial jazz club in the prep room of the Chem lab where we would get to hear the latest vinyl purchases of our chemistry master Ted Francis. Those werecthe days.
Just heard on the TV news - very sad to hear that he is no more. Lovely music, and great lover of Paul Desmond too. Will have to get my Phil-Tone Solstice alto mouthpiece out and play "Here Comes McBride" a few times!
As with so many others he was a major reason for my appreciation of jazz. I saw him early in the 1960s and again in the late 1990s a real musician’s musician. Always real and giving 100%. So glad he was there as an influence and gave so much to so many.
I don't think many today who look back at the early jazz scene realize how important he was in bringing jazz to so many people and developing a jazz audience. My guess is that well over 50% of jazz fans of that time became fans because of him and his group's extensive tours, especially the college tours. Without his influence that scene would have been without the audience it had, or very much poorer and possibly a minor footnote in music history. Brubeck's development of a following meant that so many others were able to make a living doing what they did and exploring other aspects of jazz because an audience for the medium had been developed. Who is there today or since then that has brought in such a large audience and set the stage for all kinds of jazz to flourish? Well Kenny G has a big audience, but has this benefited any other aspect of jazz, or is it even jazz?
Dave Brubeck did much more than just play, he lit the fire that most take for granted today.
Sad day, but he had a good innings. I have very few jazz recordings, but Take Five was my first (on LP around about 1982/3) which I also have as a CD. Belonged to an era when to get noticed you had to be a good musician first and foremost.
He was the first Jazz Musician I remember seeing on a b/w flickering TV, a memory so easy to recall.
He is one of the few whose style I can recognize instantly and when heard must be listened to.
I was playing The Duke when my wife came into the room and told me she had just heard on the radio he had died and asked me to play Take Five.
Seemed the right thing to do.
An email from a UK friend was the first thing I read when I turned the machine on this morning. I think we feel these particular things more because these few, unique people were such a seminal influence at a critical time in our lives – musical or otherwise. I felt the same when Humphrey Lyttelton went. I had read about it and was suitably sad – then I ran into the jazz critic of the local paper (about my age) at the local pub and we were both standing at the bar blubbing – very un-English!
Sad news – he seemed immortal - and I suppose ethereally he is.
When I first heard him in the early 60s, with Take Five etc., he was pretty universally reviled by the jazz establishment – didn’t swing, too commercial, gimmicky but weird time. Then he committed the cardinal sin of being the first jazz man on the cover of Time. I guess longevity brings forgiveness – certainly I hope it will in my case! - as it did with Stephane Grappelli.
Possibly because of that critical drubbing, I was never a big fan then – I was more into Horace Silver and Cannonball Adderley – but since I’ve come to the music much more, partly of course because of Desmond.
One point not mentioned in any of the obits I’ve read is that he was part native American (as we must write in these PC times) on his father’s side (his mother's family was from Cornwall UK) - I’m sure there’s a PhD waiting for a thesis on the influence of Native Americans in jazz.
If my favourite tenor sound is the great Ben Webster, then for alto it’s a close run thing between Johnnie Hodges and Paul Desmond – a bit of a contrast you would agree. Desmond once said he was trying to sound like a dry martini – I’m more at the Tetley’s ale end of the sound/booze spectrum but I’ll keep trying. I spoke to a musician who had worked with Desmond when he toured Australia after the Quartet days and he told me that Desmond played the hardest reeds he could find and there was a constant spray from around the mouthpiece. Backing Desmond must have been like being in the front row at a Sir Les Patterson show.
I’m sure many of you have seen the attached but just in case . . . .
Very sad news indeed. Saw him at the Newcastle City Hall 1959 with Paul Desmond and I think Morello and Wright. I went to the concert with a friend who was really into music and he kept yammering on about unusual time signatures. All foreign to me, I just wanted to listen to Paul Desmond . At that time what struck me was Mr Brubeck`s constant smile as he attacked the keys and Paul Desmond`s laid back stance. He kept wandering off stage. I later read that this was a protest in reference to his long standing differences with Mr. Morello. Regards N.