Jazz great Dave Brubeck died today at age 91. Just three weeks ago, in an antique store in New Braunfels, TX, I made a find that I consider almost miraculous (I have a low threshold for miracles). In a box of record albums I found the album Time Out by the Dave Brubeck Quartet. I discovered Dave Brubeck in my high school years in the mid 60's. It was a high school friend, an incredible drummer who loved playing along with Joe Morello, the quartet's drummer, who introduced me to him. Soon thereafter I purchased the Time Out album, probably at the E. J. Korvette's store, where I made most of my record purchases in the 60's. I loved all the tracks on it then and have ever since. But in the late 80's, after slogging it around through 20 years in the Air Force, CDs came on the scene. After they had been around sufficiently long for this skeptic to succumb to the new, advanced technology, and purchase a CD player, I purchased the Time Out CD. Then in a "clean out the old stuff" fit I offered many of my record albums at a yard sale. Time Out sold quickly (probably for less than $1.00). I eventually came to regret that decision to sell it. I still had the other two albums of the Quartet's time study trilogy, Time Further Out and Time In. They did not sell at the yard sale, thank goodness, and I could not bring myself to discarding them. Happily too the turntable did not sell. It was not long until I realized I liked the sound quality of the Brubeck Quartet's music better from the analog vinyl than the digital CD. I consistently turned to the albums when I wanted to hear that beautiful mellow, harmonious blend of piano, saxophone, bass and drum. Only reluctantly would I play the Time Out CD, when I specifically wanted to hear those tracks. So, it was not an obsession but lately, occasionally, at yard sales or antique stores I'd make a cursory look for Brubeck's timeless masterpiece. In New Braunfels in mid-November, I saw a box of record albums, and these were sufficiently organized that they were sorted by letters of the alphabet. On a whim I thought I'd look through the "B" section. Well, there were the usual Beach Boys, some Beatles and lots of other rock albums; I almost quit the search. But then towards the end of the B's there it was, Time Out, and for only $8.00! I nervously slid the album out to check its quality and to my relief it appeared intact so I made it mine. It sounds great!
See one of my photographs here, "Brubeck on the Turntable". This is the Time Further Out album spinning out beautiful music.
I am thankful for the gift he had and shared with the world. His entire quartet deserves thanks. The quartet's signature song, Take Five from the Time Out album, that you can hear now-a-days as background music in stores, hotel lobbies and Starbucks was written by his great saxophonist Paul Desmond. His music was much greater than that and deserves to be listened to in earnest. On his Time In album is the piece 40 days, written in reference to Jesus' 40 days in the desert. Listen to it and feel yourself alone, in the wilderness, reflecting on God - it is easy to do. On Time Further Out there are Bluette and Far More Blue that just blow you away. I could go on but my words don't do justice to the great music.