Brubeck at 90
With the sad passing of the jazz great, Paul Gambaccini talks to Dave Brubeck about the jazz legend's career and music. Originally broadcast for Brubeck's 90th birthday.
'Take 5' by the Dave Brubeck Quartet is possibly one of the best known jazz pieces of all time. For many it reflects the hip West coast sound of fifties America and its success propelled Brubeck on to the international stage. In light of the sad passing of this jazz great, Radio 4 gives you another chance to hear a remarkable programme. In Autumn 2010 Paul Gambaccini traveled to the Connecticut home of the jazz legend to explore his music and career reflecting his war years, world famous Quartet, best known tunes and family. In the programme we hear about the Dave Brubeck Quartet classic line up featuring - drummer Joe Morello, bassist Eugene Wright and saxophonist Paul Desmond. The huge success of Paul Desmond's composition 'Take Five' was followed by many tunes played in Brubeck's unusual time signature best know of which - is 'Blue Rondo A La Turk'. What distinguishes Brubecks experiments in time is his innate sense of song and commitment to musical populism. As we hear, in 'Brubeck at 90' we discover Dave as still harvesting the highest awards his nation and his profession can offer, including the BBC Jazz Lifetime Achievement Award and most recently the Kennedy Center Honour in America alongside Bruce Springsteen, Robert Di Niro and Mel Brooks. A remarkable night as Brubeck rubbed shoulders with President Obama and got the surprise of his life as we hear in this revealing programme in the month of his sad passing one day shy of his 92nd birthday.