Dave Brubeck Dec 6, 1920 - Dec 5, 2012

Dave Brubeck was considered to be one of the foremost exponents of progressive jazz and tributes to this much loved jazz icon have been flowing in since the announcement of his death earlier this month.

His musical background is fascinating because he was classically trained. He studied composition under French composer Darius Milhaud  who was instrumental in convincing Brubeck to persist with his natural inclination towards jazz. Milhaud was convinced that every true composer expressed the culture from which he came, and that jazz was the folk idiom of America. There happened to be several jazz musicians among Milhaud’s students who, together with Brubeck, formed a band to play their own compositions.

Best known for famous piece "Take 5", Brubeck wrote a number of jazz standards, including "In Your Own Sweet Way" and "The Duke". It wasn't until the disbanding of his own quartet in 1967 that he had time to broaden his output and compose longer, extended orchestral and choral works and also went on to write some sound tracks for television.

Brubeck did not give up playing jazz, and even led a series of bands in later years. The first of these featured the famous baritone saxophonist Gerry Mulligan. Between 1987 and 2005 he led another very successful quartet including the virtuoso saxophonist and flautist Bobby Militello and, for a while, the British bassist Alec Dankworth. At other times, his groups have included some or all of his sons – Darius, Chris, Danny and Matthew Brubeck.

Dave Brubeck received many honours, medals and honorary degrees. He performed at the White House on numerous occasions and, with his wife, endowed the Brubeck Institute at the College (now University) of the Pacific
He will be sadly missed but his music will live on ....

Check out some of Auckland libraries holdings of Dave Brubeck CDs and sheet music and also the Naxos Jazz database through the Digital Library

This entry was posted on Tuesday, January 22 and is filed under ,,. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response.

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