This is a fantastic and inspirational interview with Dave Brubeck. What is particularity striking is how he was onto contrapuntal jazz writing with his octet/nonet before the Gil Evans/Miles “Birth of the Cool” sessions in 1948. So, despite his influences of Fletcher Henderson, Ellington etc, he was even early in his career able to think outside the box and apply counterpoint, and eventually polytonality and multi-rhythmic(ness?) to his writing. Plus he seems like a really cool guy–maybe his openness and personality helped him bridge the vast gap between the jazz and classical worlds.
A recent press release from the Detroit Jazz Festival stated that 90-year-old Dave Brubeck, advised by his doctors that it would be a bad idea for him to travel, had cancelled his scheduled concert, A vivid force in American music since the latter ’40s, and a charismatic performer, Brubeck shines in the public eye, and it will be a shame if his performing career is over.
I had a wonderful opportunity to interview Brubeck four years ago, for a Jazziz story focusing on his involvement in education. It was a narrative article — the unedited transcript appears below, following four expository paragraphs.
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Few jazz musicians can discuss the whys and wherefores of jazz education so eloquently as pianist-composer Dave Brubeck, whose career could serve as a case study in how to blend the conservatory and the working world beyond.
A household name since Time magazine placed his…
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