Wednesday, December 5, 2012

RIP to Cool Jazz Great Dave Brubeck


I fell in love with Cool Jazz in college and still think of it as background music to my younger years, although growing up in the seventies I was two generations removed from Brubeck. Some people might think "Who is Dave Brubeck?" and "Have I ever heard his music?" Yes indeed, you probably have! Not only has it been played in movie soundtracks, but also on countless commercials. More important is the influence the artist had over his long career, and not just musicians. Fans range from Mr. Rogers to Clint Eastwood.

From the San Francisco Chronicle Obituary:
Mr. Brubeck died of heart failure while on his way to a regular doctor's appointment, according to Russell Gloyd, his longtime manager. Mr. Brubeck would have been 92 today.

Born in Concord and raised on a ranch in the Central Valley Mr. Brubeck became a San Francisco bandleader and pianist credited with one of the major innovations in popular music. Working with the San Francisco saxophonist Paul Desmond, Mr. Brubeck was the first pianist to break 4/4 time in jazz, by adding a fifth beat to the measure, according to jazz historian Ted Gioia.

"Take Five," written by Desmond and released in 1959 on the album "Time Out" by the Dave Brubeck Quartet, popularized this 5/4 time signature and became a pop hit, a rarity for a jazz instrumental. In 1961, "Time Out" reached No. 2 among popular albums on the Billboard chart, and "Take Five" topped out at No. 5 on the adult contemporary chart. "That meter later showed up in everything from the theme to "Mission Impossible" to the Jethro Tull song "Living in the Past," said Gioia. "Dave was an innovator who started out as a leading light of San Francisco jazz but soon brought his artistry to the whole world."

. . . Survivors include wife Iola, and sons Darius, Chris, Dan, Matthew, and Michael, and a daughter Catherine Yaghsizian. Services are pending.

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