Dave Brubeck, RIP

The jazz pianist Dave Brubeck has died, a day before his 92nd birthday. Time Out remains his most famous work: It is always one of the top selling jazz albums, more than 50 years later. (Another wonderful Brubeck album is Jazz at Oberlin; a favorite of mine is These Foolish Things.) Brubeck also composed some wonderful tunes, like In Your Own Sweet Way. With that said, I’ve long had somewhat mixed views of Brubeck’s work. There was a lot of Brubeck that struck me as pretty forgettable. When listening to a Brubeck record, I usually find myself waiting for the next Paul Desmond solo; it’s Desmond’s alto playing, more than Brubeck’s piano, that grabs me. But Brubeck is clearly a major figure in jazz. And it’s hard to listen to Take Five without tapping your feet. May he rest in peace.

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