I’ve written before about the many Daves in my life, Dave the
genius mechanic being the most prevalent. But there’s yet another Dave. Dave Brubeck.
Nope, never met him. Dave the mechanic and I did see him in concert, in 1977, I believe.
Musically, I was first interested in Classical, then Jazz, and later Rock. Being into Classical was terrific when my high school choral teacher Ken Wells had us sing in Latin(!) Bach is my first musical love.
But Mr. Wells also taught us about jazz. And Brubeck. And he gave me my first jazz record, Brubeck’s Adventures in Time. I still remember the liner notes, recounting therein Thelonious Monk receiving a gift of a potted plant. His comment? “With fronds like these, who need anemones?” Priceless.
Many folks don’t know that Dave Brubeck stood up against racism, refusing to play segregated venues in the South when his bassist Eugene Wright was banned from staying in the same hotels, or from being shown in TV broadcasts, because he was black. Brubeck simply refused to play unless Wright was offered the same accommodation and exposure. This was viewed as going-against-the-grain, but Dave didn’t care – right was right!
His musical experimentation with time signatures is phenomenal. As was his life. He passed earlier today, at age 91, one day before his 92nd birthday.
He will be missed.
And, if you don’t know Brubeck by name, you certainly know him by sound. Give a listen: