Dave Brubeck died this week, a day short of his 92nd birthday. The pianist and composer was jazz for millions around the world, building blocks of chords that mixed classical influences with contemporary harmonies and opposing rhythms.
Dave Brubeck and saxophonist Paul Desmond created fresh sounds in the 1950s, with the Dave Brubeck Quartet. Their 1959 collaboration, Take Five, may be the best-known jazz composition of all time.
NPR Special Correspondent Susan Stamberg grew up with the sounds of Dave Brubeck, and has a Brubeck memory that's dear to her.
Originally published on Sat December 29, 2012 9:31 am
For the better part of this year, I haven't been able to shake a certain phrase from the back of my mind. It was written by the pianist and composer Vijay Iyer in the liner notes to his brilliant trio album Accelerando: "[T]his album is in the lineage of American creative music based on dance rhythms."
Originally published on Sat December 8, 2012 10:09 am
Diana Newlon sits on her living-room couch leading choir practice. With her laptop balanced on one arm of the sofa, she looks at a screen full of videos of girls singing "Jingle Bell Rock." Each girl is in her own little square, arranged Brady Bunch-style on the screen.
Newlon teaches at the Ohio Distance and Electronic Learning Academy — OHDELA for short — and she's the founder of perhaps the only all-online school choir in the state, or even the nation.
A season for being with friends and family can be hard on those who are lonely; a season of giving can be hard on those who go without. All the tinsel and lights can also make people blink, shudder and wonder about which of life's gifts they'll never find under the tree — or which they'll unwrap and find fleeting and fragile.
Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 5:33 pm
Lianne La Havas has toured with Bon Iver, sung with Willy Mason and recorded her debut album with producer Matt Hales, better known as Aqualung. More than most, she can attest to the benefits of knowing the right people, but La Havas also has heaps of talent on her side.
David Warren Brubeck (Dec. 6, 1920 - Dec. 5, 2012) in Concord, Calif. His father was a cattle rancher and his mother taught piano. His two older brothers, Henry and Howard, studied to become musicians, but Dave had no intentions of following them, although he took lessons from his mother. He could not read sheet music, but played well enough that this deficiency went mostly unnoticed.
And now, we'd like to take a moment to remember jazz great Dave Brubeck. The pianist and composer died earlier this week. He was just shy of his 92nd birthday. He's remembered for songs like the one you just heard, "In Your Own Sweet Way." The Dave Brubeck Quartet influenced performers all over the world and pushed boundaries by making music that used inventive timing and beats that gave their music a distinct swinging style like in the classic song, "Take Five."