RIP Dave Brubeck
Whispering hoarsely, Dave Brubeck uttered his last words on the eve of his 92nd birthday yesterday: “I wish I’d never even written that fucking ‘Take Five'”. Dismissing a track that, for fifty years had defined his career, represented the most popular number on jazz music’s first million-selling album and, for many, epitomized the cool essence of jazz itself, Brubeck called “Take Five” a “God-damned tweedle-dee millstone around my neck.” Unfortunately, the jazz pianist and composer passed away before assembled family and friends could point out that the song was actually written by his quartet’s saxophonist, Paul Desmond.
Editor’s note: Of the vinyl twofer containing Brubeck’s most popular album and its less successful follow-up, my father owned the former as well as the Quartet’s excellent orchestral Brandenburg Gate: Revisited Lp. Along with Back Country Suite by Mose Alison and a Columbia compilation of Louis Armstrong’s early Hot Fives recordings, these represent the young Asbo’s first exposure to the Jazz. I’ve managed to acquire copies of each as a grown-up, the Brubecks were thrifted and the other two bought retail, and rate them as highly as I did as a yout’ man.