Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Dave Brubeck (1920–2012)

Sad news:

Dave Brubeck, a pianist and composer whose distinctive mixture of experimentation and accessibility made him one of the most popular jazz musicians of the 1950s and ’60s, died Wednesday morning in Norwalk, Conn. He would have turned 92 on Thursday. . . .

In a long and successful career, Mr. Brubeck helped repopularize jazz at a time when younger listeners had been trained to the sonic dimensions of the three-minute pop single. His quartet’s 1959 recording of “Take Five” was the first jazz single to sell a million copies.

Dave Brubeck, Who Helped Put Jazz Back in Vogue, Dies at 91 (New York Times)
It’s difficult to think of anyone who did more to bring jazz to new audiences. Here, courtesy of YouTube, are five versions of my favorite Brubeck composition, “The Duke,” four by Brubeck, and one by Miles Davis and Gil Evans: 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.

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