You may remember my writeup of the time that I had gone to the Blue Note to see him play live. It was not the first time, but until age blurs the details, I will remember that when Dave Brubeck talked, the entire club went absolutely quiet. The bartenders stopped mixing, the guests would stay frozen, all to hear him speak, and tell of the Dwight Eisenhower-endorsed trip to Poland to perform. Think about it. He had traveled the world before some of our parents were a concept in the universe. He was a WWII vet, which is something few people remember. And he was a delight onstage, no matter the age of the audience. People’s grandchildren had been at the Note that night, and I’m certain that they too will remember the energy that he and the band had brought to the stage.
I’ll always remember him smiling. Always making a jest at his own age. But no matter what, he’d play note-perfect and with as much verve and cheer as though the clock had been set back forty years.
He had left everyone with an indelible memory, and he had left the world his music. And his music has inspired and will continue to inspire thousands to foray into the meanders of what we know as jazz.
In Memoriam to a consummate entertainer, and an icon of jazz then and now. You, Joe Morello, and Paul Desmond will be playing the iconic tune at the big jam session in the sky now.