Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Take Five

I don't know anything about music. In my line you don't have to. Elvis

Dave Brubeck. I love his music, but don't have the intellectual training to define or describe it. What I do have is knowledge that he changed the world's perception of jazz from a fringe art form into a commercial product.

Brubeck isn't recognized as an inventor in jazz. He didn't commit his life to experimenting and looking for the new forms. He borrowed from the artists who did. Their work was not gaining popular appeal (and for many of them, it was exactly the avoidance of popular appeal they sought).

But Brubeck knew how to transform it.

"He had a sense of being able to take a very almost popular listenable melody and bring it into jazz. And that was maybe the most remarkable of all and the ones people haven't really given him much credit for. But in fact you could sort of hum or sing a Dave Brubeck melody in the way that you wouldn't have been able to hum something from Dizzy Gillespie or Charlie Parker. And I think this contributed to his great success - the fact that he could bring all this modernism into the music but never lose the thread of the melody." Ted Gioia

Perhaps Brubeck contributed to the experiment of jazz, but without a doubt, he knew that it could BE different if he brought jazz to the people rather than people to jazz.

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