Like he said - "It's Like A Whole Orchestra, The Piano"
Sadly, yesterday, we lost one of the giants of Jazz. Dave Brubeck was more than just an accomplished pianist. He was a true innovator in the world of jazz and influenced countless artists the world over for almost seventy years. The 1959 groundbreaking album Time Out with the signature composition Take Five, written by saxophonist and Brubeck Quartet member Paul Desmond in 5/4 time, is still considered, some fifty years later, to be a seminal point of reference in the evolution of jazz.
I had the pleasure of seeing The Dave Brubeck Quartet with forty thousand of my closest friends at the 1969 Atlanta International Pop Festival. To say it was surreal to see the great jazz pianist on the same bill as Zeppelin, Canned Heat and Blood Sweat & Tears would by an understatement. I also had the pleasure of hearing Mr. Brubeck in 2007 at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Saint Petersburg. With a rather shuffling gait, he walked to the piano, sat down and started playing. Pure magic! The pleasure of experiencing this great artist at both ends of a thirty eight year time frame is impossible to put into words.
And just to show what a truly great jazz pianist can do with Christmas, Brubeck gave us his own take on the Christmas standards with A Dave Brubeck Christmas in 1996 at the tender young age of seventy six. With unequaled virtuosity and musicality comes - A 2012 XMAS Countdown Special - Walking In A Winter Wonderland by Dave Brubeck.
And for Nomads of every stripe, here is the quartet with Dave Brubeck and Paul Desmond on sax performing Take Five in 1966 - just to remind us what genius can do in 5/4 time.
Jazz - Don't Have Christmas Without It,