1953: Dave Brubeck Quartet Discography

1953 was a banner year for the Brubeck Quartet. Their popularity on college campuses exploded and Brubeck and Desmond were quickly becoming jazz stars. The group recorded two of the best live albums in their voluminous discography. 1953 also saw another personnel change in the band with the exit of bassist Wyatt Ruther and the [...]

Happy Birthday Cal Tjader!

Say what you want about social media and its terrible effect on culture, but today it proved its worth.  Scrolling through Twitter this morning, I was informed through a tweet that it was Cal Tjader's birthday.  Born 93 years ago on this date, July 16, 1925 in St. Louis, Missouri, Tjader's family relocated to the [...]

An Interview with Dave Brubeck, July 23, 2007

Great interview piece of Dave Brubeck

Today Is The Question: Ted Panken on Music, Politics and the Arts

A recent press release from the Detroit Jazz Festival stated that 90-year-old Dave Brubeck, advised by his doctors that it would be a bad idea for him to travel, had cancelled his scheduled concert, A vivid force in American music since the latter ’40s, and a charismatic performer, Brubeck shines in the public eye, and it will be a shame if his performing career is over.

I had a wonderful opportunity to interview Brubeck four years ago, for a Jazziz story focusing on his involvement in education. It was a narrative article — the unedited transcript appears below, following four expository paragraphs.

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Few jazz musicians can discuss the whys and wherefores of jazz education so eloquently as pianist-composer Dave Brubeck, whose career could serve as a case study in how to blend the conservatory and the working world beyond.

A household name since Time magazine placed his…

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How To Mend A Record That Skips And Jumps…With A Toothpick

This may have just saved my life

Every record tells a story

mending a scratched record with a toothpick

It is possible to mend a scratched record – and I’ve done it!

Mending a broken record is the holy grail for many record collectors. Whilst it isn’t as miraculous as walking on water, turning water into wine or any of the other aquatic stunts that Dynamo: Magician Impossible (and some other guy apparently) has performed, it is nevertheless far more useful than the first feat, unless you are a Tory MP who lives in a moat-surrounded castle, unable to risk claiming on expenses the repair bill for a faulty drawbridge.

It also gives you a tremendous feeling of satisfaction when you succeed, similar no doubt to the one Alexander The Great had as he looked across his domain and wept, with no more worlds to conquer.High Tide and Green Grass Rolling Stones

When I say “broken” I’m not referring to one that was in the wrong place at the wrong time during a traditional Greek…

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Trane and Baraka

One of the things that I liked about this African-American Literature class was that the things I learned in class almost always became relevant and useful afterwards.  It was uncanny.  One of these uncanny moments was when, a day after learning about the poet Amiri Baraka, born LeRoi Jones.  I was reading a book about [...]

Reflections On My African-American Literature Class -Part 2

One thing I appreciated about this class was the absolutely fantastic discussions that we had.  I looked forward to class primarily because of these discussions, in fact.  Well, they started off as discussions, anyhow.  Without fail, the discussions rapidly morphed into vociferous debates.  I found myself learning a lot from these pseudo-discussions, and at the [...]