Sunday, March 30, 2008

what's in a name

many of you may not know why i go by "dj take 5" when i spin... the short version of the story is that the first piece of music i remember my father playing for me was Dave Brubeck's 'Take 5' from his legendary 'Time Out' album. so, when i found out that Mr. Brubeck was coming to Jazz at Lincoln Center to perform, along with Ramsey Lewis, i HAD to get tickets. it was tough - the concert had been sold out for weeks, but i called in a favor - and got one ticket. thank you, polly!

to my surprise, Brubeck came out first, along with his quartet, all of whom were seemingly in their 60s and 70s -- Brubeck being 87 years young. He spoke prior to the first song, and never again, but was engaging and funny when he did. he spoke of the trio that was performing in the atrium prior to the show (pictured) - young guys trying new things... hearkening back to when he was young and enjoyed trying something different. he mentioned that what helped jumpstart his career was making jazz more accessible - specifically when he did a Disney album, and created his own version of 'someday my prince will come'. he also mentioned that sales soared because Columbia put the album in their music club -- so "people got it in the mail, and if they didn't return it in 14 days, well -- they bought it".

Ok, on to the music - they began their set with "someday my prince...", followed it up with a beautifully crafted harmony-filled trance-like slow piece, then with what i could only describe as a hiphop influenced nob your head track. after a few other wonderfully constructed intricate-meter pieces (brubeck's signature), to the crowd's delight, they ended with TAKE 5!!!! - which included a spirited drum solo that was a fitting end to a wonderful hour of jazz. i must say the saxophonist in the quartet, who also played the flute for one piece, was absolutely stellar - and stole the show a bit. but, like myself, most in the audience were there to see one of the most renowned pianists in music - and mr. brubeck did not disappoint.

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