I was terribly sad to hear that the great Dave Brubeck died today in Connecticut of heart failure, just one day short of his 92nd birthday.
Mr. Brubeck was a giant in the world of jazz, and his "Time Out", recorded in 1959, is one of the best-selling jazz albums of all-time, with the famous "Take Five" from that album his best known song of all-time.
"Time Out" was the first jazz album I ever owned, as I got it when I worked at Tower Records in the late 1980s. It had just been re-released on cassette (remember those?) and a friend (I can't remember which one) recommended I give it a listen. I played it over and over and over on my Walkman (remember those, too?). And I was hooked.
Over the years I've worked for a few music distributors, and I've picked up many Dave Brubeck albums as promo copies, and I've also bought a number of his classics as well. I now have 25 of his albums. This past weekend, I was going through a box of CDs I keep in storage, and found a Brubeck album that somehow missed getting into my iPod: "Dave Brubeck and Paul Desmond." It is an album of live songs from the early 1950s of Dave with the great saxophonist and friend Paul Desmond, who was part of his great quartet.
And just this morning, I was sitting down to listen to some new music that was in my iPod, and some Christmas tunes I had not listened to yet this Christmas season. "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town" by Dave Brubeck was on my iPod when I got the news online of Mr. Brubeck's passing. An odd coincidence.
Godspeed to one of the legendary names in the world of jazz, and to honor the great Mr. Brubeck, here he is with the Quartet doing one of my favorite songs, "Koto Song", live in Germany in 1966: