Tonight I learned that Dave Brubeck has passed one day before his 92nd birthday.
A Giant of Jazz, Dave Brubeck shaped my early life. When I was a teenager jazz was said to be a dying musical art form. Frank Sinatra ranted about how his music wasn’t appreciated the way the Beatles were appreciated. Yet, sitting at our local southern California ’60’s drive in restaurant, Grisinger’s, or at Harvey’s Broiler up in Downey, another suburb of Los Angeles, me and my mates were listening to jazz, as much as we listened to Motown, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, or the Byrds. There was just something about Brubeck and his five four rhythm that captivated me. His connection with Stan Getz, the cool jazz, Brazilian bossa nova saxaphonist made it all the more compelling. Brubeck led my exposure to Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Mose Allison, Wes Montgomery, and a host of others.
Born in the backwater town of Stockton, in the Central Valley, Brubeck shined….Only Chris Issak, to the best of my knowledge, also came from Stockton. Brubeck was a native of Northern California, and we loved him.
As a result, my ear was attuned to jazz at this early age, and Dave Brubeck was one of my great influences, and it has never wavered.
Farewell old friend.