A Brief from Niagara At Large publisher Doug Draper
(As those of you who are regular readers of Niagara At Large know, we go out of our way here sometimes to honour the death of the odd milestone person among us. And here is one now.)
One of the great jazz adventurers from the mid-20th century and on, in to this 21st century, passed away this December 5.
His name was Dave Brubeck and some of you who follow music closely and love jazz music in particular may remember him for the classic 1959 album ‘Time Out’. On that one was a tune called ‘Take Five’, an interplay between his piano and the alto sax of Paul Desmond, that broke barriers when it came to the typical 4/4 timing in jazz and the blues. It was a sound that everyone in jazz and blues and rock, including The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Frank Zappa, Sting and U2.
As an avid music listener growing up in the 1960s, there was this sense that you had not fulfilled your musical journey until you had feasted on The Dave Brubeck Quartet’s Time Out which remains a magical, bewitching treat to this day.
Dave Brubeck performed in the greater Niagara area many times in recent decades, including at the Shea’s Theatre of Performing Arts in Buffalo, New York, as recently as last year. He generously allowed his name and fame to be used to support great theatrical institutions like Shea’s and local PBS channels, including those in Buffalo.
We have lost one of the last great jazz artists from the middle period of this genre’s history – someone who stretches back to the great Avant-guard days of Miles Davis and John Coltrane.
Goodbye Dave, and thanks for the music. If you can find his late, great quartet’s version of Blue Rondo A La Turk, put it on, and think about how much cooler and mind-bending that is than so much of the computerized crap the music industry is cranking out now.
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