A Tribute to Dave Brubeck
Blue Rondo Ala Turk, taking the riff to a rhythmic renaissance.
Brubeck found Bela Bartok, kindred In His Own Sweet Way.
Dave Digs the Disney songs, Alice in Wonderland, So this is Love,
Hi Ho, Hi Ho, Upon A Star.
Take Five a charmer,
Of course that catchy tune was written by his partner, Paul Desmond.
Carnegie Hall was the concert that changed our way of hearing Jazz, Paul
cool in his frozen stance, while Morello melted the time.
Brubeck, Ambassador, carried the torch and a tune to a distant shore.
Brubeck, his Wolf Pack Band, part of Patton’s Army days.
Jazz went to Oberlin, Jazz Goes to College, ovation in Nineteen Fifty Three,
Then came a big break,
His face was on the cover of Time Magazine. Time Out.
Three to Get Ready and King for a Day,
You see Blue Shadows on the Street, Strange Meadow Lark on high.
Eugene Wright walked steadfastly,
While Desmond’s horn wisped melancholy.
Then, Everybody’s Jumpin just to beat the band,
Feel this Raggy Waltz and give yourself a dance,
Brubeck walks the sand, hearing jazz inside his head.
Notes: When I was sixteen my father took me to hear The Dave Brubeck
Quartet, Live at Carnegie Hall. I had been playing accordion for five years, but
knew I had to play jazz piano after hearing Brubeck’s incredible quartet. The
last line in the song comes from an experience I had while vacationing in
Sanibel Island. I was walking the beach one morning and in the distance,
coming towards me, was this strikingly tall figure with large head-phones over
his ears. As we passed I caught only a peripheral view of him. A few moments
later I stopped, turned and thought, “That was Dave Brubeck”! I shook my
head “no, it couldn’t be”. Later that evening I stopped in at Ellington’s, a local
jazz eatery, to listen to the music. When the band took a break I had a
conversation with the vocalist who goes on to say, “hey you should have been
here earlier, Dave Brubeck was in for dinner”.