Dave Brubeck

David Warren " Dave" Brubeck ( born December 6, 1920 in Concord, California, † December 5, 2012 in Norwalk, Connecticut ) was an American jazz pianist, composer and bandleader. He led with his quartet, one of the longest-lasting and most successful of the modern jazz combos and conquered the Jazz with the intellectual middle class a new audience. In his plays he combined jazz with both European concert music as well as non-European music. In Brubeck's piano playing took block chords and rhythmic structure of his plays odd time signatures a large space.

Life and work

Brubeck grew up on a farm, his father was a rancher. In the jazz film series by Ken Burns, he said jokingly, his childhood dream was that the cattle kept by him would stop the tour bus at the Benny Goodman orchestra, so he could play for him. He had to Country Music His first taste of music. Brubeck's mother had to be in England with the aim of a concert pianist, studied piano and was acquainted with Henry Cowell. She also taught piano by the way; from the age of four and Dave, who also learned to play the cello. Brubeck was not particularly interested to learn according to a particular method, but rather wanted to create his own melodies - thus he never learned to play from the sheet.

Brubeck only studied veterinary medicine and moved in 1941 to the music. He studied at the College of Pacific, where he also directed an orchestra. In 1942 he moved to Mills College. When one of his professors discovered that he could not read music, he was almost excluded from the College. Several of his professors campaigned for him and pointed to his skill in counterpoint and harmony. As the school was afraid that there might be a scandal, she allegedly gave him the final only to his promise never to teach.

In 1943 he was drafted into the army. At the beginning of military service, he had the opportunity to visit the University of California lectures of Arnold Schoenberg. Then he served in George Patton's Third Army during the Battle of the Bulge. He played in a band that he short-term - especially with African-American musicians - put together and quickly gained fame and recognition. After three years of military service he returned to Mills College in 1946 and studied for half a year with Darius Milhaud, who encouraged him to deal not only with classical piano, but with counterpoint and arrangement. He also turned his attention back to the Jazz.

While still a student started a Brubeck Octet, among other things, with Cal Tjader and Paul Desmond. The octet The Jazz Workshop Ensemble was very keen to experiment, but made ​​few recordings and got very little performance opportunities. A little discouraged Brubeck started in 1949 with two members of a trio that in 1951 he expanded to a quartet with Desmond, and spent several years trying to play only jazz standards. A first success was his appearance at Oberlin College in 1953, later published as Jazz at Oberlin. Brubeck was published in 1954 as the first musicians to Louis Armstrong on a cover picture of Time; He was excellent in many polls. Then he formed the " Dave Brubeck Quartet" with Joe Dodge on drums, Bob Bates on bass, Paul Desmond on sax and himself at the piano. Mid-1950s have been replaced by Eugene Wright and Joe Morello Bates and Dodge. In the late 1950s, Brubeck told from several concerts because the club owners required him to seek a different bass player than the African American Eugene Wright. He canceled several television appearances, when he found out that the idea was not to bring Wright into the picture.

In 1959, he led the Dialogue for Jazz Combo and Symphony his brother Howard with Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. 1959 brought the quartet album "Time Out" out, which was indeed enthusiastically received by their label, but still published only reluctantly: it only contained original compositions, and only one of them ( Strange Meadow Lark ) was consistently in the usual 4/4- clock. Nevertheless, the panel quickly reached platinum status. In 1961, he took with Louis Armstrong, Jon Hendricks, Dave Lambert, Annie Ross, and Carmen McRae on pieces of the musical The Real Ambassador and gave a concert at the Berlin Wall. At the Berlin Jazz Festival in 1964, he led his Elementals for quartet and symphony orchestra; In the same year he gave a concert at the White House.

The first Brubeck Quartet broke up in 1967; Brubeck performed from 1968 with Gerry Mulligan, with whom he also made ​​recordings. Parallel Brubeck formed a new group with Perry Robinson and Jerry Bergonzi as wind and with his three sons, Dan on drums, Darius on bass and Chris on keyboards. In 1972 he renewed the collaboration with Paul Desmond, 1975/76 they gave a series of reunion concerts with the classic quartet and Mulligan as occasional guest. After Desmond's death in 1977 Mulligan and Brubeck made ​​the next six years recorded together.

1980 Brubeck was Catholic. He called this step is not a conversion, but as the beginning of a serious religious belief. The immediate inspiration to may have been his work on the measurement of composition To Hope. He was awarded the contract to the American editor Ed Murray, editor of the Catholic weekly Our Sunday Visitor.

Brubeck was also involved in the music of the North American Indians. He gave in about 80 cities per year concerts, which usually in the spring in 20 European. In recent years, the alto saxophonist Bobby Militello, bassist Michael Moore ( the Alec Dankworth and Jack Six replaced ) and drummer Randy Jones were among his quartet. Since 2006, Dave Brubeck was in Europe no more concerts.

Brubeck composed jazz standards such as "In Your Own Sweet Way " and "The Duke". Some of his pieces are in unusual time signatures: "Pick Up Sticks " in 6/4, " Unsquare Dance" in 7/4, and "Blue Rondo A La Turk " in 9/8; his longtime musical partner Paul Desmond wrote that certainly most famous piece of the Dave Brubeck Quartet's "Take Five" in 5/4-Takt. In addition, he was also involved in the writing of works of the Third Stream and other elaborately layered compositions. In addition to symphonic and chamber works, for instance for the Brodsky Quartet, he also composed oratorios, ballets and sacred music (To Hope! A Celebration ).

Marriage and issue

He and his wife Iola (born Iola Marie Whitlock, born August 14, 1923 † March 12, 2014 ), whom he married in 1942, had Dave Brubeck six children (Michael, Catherine, Darius, Chris, Dan and Matthew ), of which Darius and three others were also professional musicians. Dave Brubeck died on December 5, 2012, one day before his 92nd birthday, in Norwalk Hospital after heart failure.

Awards and honors

Dave Brubeck received the 1996 Grammy Awards in an internationally broadcast show the honorary prize for his life's work. He also received other awards, including a star on the "Hollywood Walk of Fame " of six American universities the honorary doctorate, an honorary degree at the University of Nottingham (England), an honorary doctorate from the University of Fribourg ( Switzerland ) and an honorary doctorate from the University in his life Duisburg. Bill Clinton awarded him in 1994 the National Medal of Arts. With the establishment of " Brubeck Institute" that is committed to the dissemination of modern music styles, honored the University of the Pacific Dave Brubeck as a name. In December 2009, Brubeck was presented by President Barack Obama, the price of the Kennedy Center in Washington. On the occasion neunzigstem of Brubeck's birthday, the premiere of the documentary " Dave Brubeck - In His Own Sweet Way " took place in 2010, the Clint Eastwood produced and in which Bruce Ricker directed.

Discography (selection)

  • The Dave Brubeck Octet ( 1947-48 )
  • Dave Brubeck Trio Featuring Cal Tjader ( 1949-50 )
  • Dave Brubeck / Paul Desmond ( 1951-53 )
  • All- Time Greatest Hits ( 1956-65 )
  • Time Out (1959 )
  • The Real Ambassadors (1961, with Louis Armstrong )
  • Tony Bennett / Dave Brubeck: The White House Sessions Live 1962 ( Columbia / RPM / Legacy, ed 2013)
  • Blues Roots (1970, with Gerry Mulligan )
  • All the Things We Are ( 1973-74, with Anthony Braxton and Lee Konitz )
  • Brubeck and Desmond 1975: The Duets (1975 )
  • Reflections ( 1985)
  • New Wine (1987 )
  • One Alone ( 2000)