2 thoughts on “Dave Brubeck (1920-2012)”

  1. Intriguing how iconic (in the ancient sense) that Time cover is!

    A number of Brubeck’s early sacred works (including sketches for The Light in the Wilderness) were “test-driven” at Grand Rapids’ Fountain Street Church. More details in this article on the wildly eclectic concert series Fountain Street hosted in the 1960s and 70s — Duke Ellington’s Sacred Concert, Procol Harum, the Moody Blues, King Crimson and more: http://www.westmichmusichystericalsociety.com/fsc-2/

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  2. Has it really been six years? Amazing. I wrote a couple of pieces on Brubeck after his death. From one of them:

    It is rather humorous to read of how Brubeck has been viewed for decades by some critics as “stolid” (a term Brubeck took umbrage with, rightfully so) and even dull. In fact, Brubeck was neither, but he was certainly both a paradox and a pioneer. One paradox is that Brubeck, although having studied under the French composer and “modernist” Darius Milhaud and having much formal classical training (unusual for a jazz musician at the time), found tremendous and unprecedented success in the 1950s as a chart-topping popularizer. In 1954, he graced the cover of Time magazine, a first for a jazz musician, and his most famous album, “Time Out,” recorded in 1959, was a smash hit, especially among college students.

    “For all his conceptualizing,” stated the New York Times’ obituary, “Mr. Brubeck often seemed more guileless and stubborn country boy than intellectual.” This sort of apparent contradiction always followed Brubeck. The critic Leonard Feather, in his 1965 work, “The Book of Jazz,” observed that Brubeck was “a controversial figure” who had been accused by some of “senile romanticism,” but also praised (by British pianist Steve Race) as “the most uniquely significant jazzman of our times.”

    Truth be told, Brubeck straddled many lines — musically, racially, culturally — because he was a remarkably talented and disciplined artist, as well as a grounded and good man. He never succumbed to drugs and hedonism like so many of his fellow jazz musicians and was married to his wife, Iola, for 70 years as a dedicated family man.

    Entire piece: https://www.osv.com/OSVNewsweekly/ByIssue/Article/TabId/735/ArtMID/13636/ArticleID/4810/Jazz-musician-leaves-legacy.aspx

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