06 December 2010

Dave Brubeck

Dave Brubeck turns 90 today, so I'll be listening to Time Out while I make dinner this evening. Two years ago, I wrote this about his landmark 1959 album Time Out:
The time-signature experiments of Time Out were never extrapolated by anyone else the way Miles Davis' modal experiments on Kind of Blue or Ornette Coleman's breaking of harmonic barriers on The Shape of Jazz To Come were. Perhaps this is why it given secondary position to these other works in The Jazz Tradition. Remove the nonstandard time signatures, and the album is still enjoyable, but is not progressive, in the sense that it did not present a drastically new way of playing jazz for other musicians to draw on and evolve. It is still full of surprises, and presents new layers upon further listening, but in the constructed Jazz Tradition, it does not provide trajectory, save for introducing the music to thousands of suburban college students (which is no small feat indeed). 
Read the whole piece here. Happy birthday, Dave.

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