Unsquare Dance. LOVE this song.
One of my very, absolute favorite pianists* and composers passed away yesterday. Dave Brubeck, known mostly for Take Five, was a musical genius and innovator.
Often musicians, jazz musicians in the 60s for sure, are known for addictions, hard living and tragedies. But one thing that stood out when I watched a documentary on him a few years back was that he was happy. He was a devoted family man and his career was both successful and fun. Also, like a lot of musicians, he was at the forefront of social change, rejecting the racism of the day by having a mixed race band and refusing to play in clubs that wouldn't allow all of the members of his band in.
One of the things I love about his music and his life is how much he enjoyed both. There is real joy and happiness that comes through the melodies and unusual time signatures. When I auditioned for a summer jazz camp, the song I chose to play was Blue Rondo a la Turk - it was a natural transition for a classical pianist trying to move into jazz because of the elegant technicality that cradled his quirky rhythms and one-of-a-kind scales.
I'm glad he lived a full, happy life (he was 91, would have been 92 today) but I will always wish he could've stayed around forever.
Rest in peace, Mr. Brubeck. Thank you for your inspiration and exuberance.
*I actually wrote about him in this post here.