Friday, March 24, 2006

"Take Five" Comes Alive

Something about the announcement of Dave Brubeck performing with his sons intrigued me, so we had the good fortune to attend a performance by the jazz master himself, accompanied by two of his sons and a saxophone player from his Quartet. He played several of his pieces, with a twinkle in his eye. The piano ranged from being the strongest instrument, to being the backgroud or a chord used as an accent to fill in a break in the melody. His sons delighted in playing with him and surprising him with their drum or guitar improvizations. It was a delight when Dave Brubeck told of how and where the songs were written -- once knowing that, you could hear that in the music.
But, when he played the opening notes of "Take Five", it was with the energy and passion of a song he had just created, not one written in 1959. It came alive, and is something we will remember forever. He was so amazed by the drum performance of his son that he leaned forward over the piano. This man helped cross the racial barriers in jazz in the 1960s, when he had African-American musicians and refused to change when performing certain clubs or TV shows. He helped make jazz accessible for everyone with his magic fingers. I never knew you could do so much with a piano. It was like watching a special recipe being made: the piano was the crust holding the pie together, with layers of bass guitar, drum and saxophone blended over the top, all the while with the piano accenting the melody. It was delicious.
Dave Brubeck travels all over the world performing, up to 80 concerts annually. We are honored to have shared an evening with him.