Rolla Heinen
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Take Five, Mr. Brubeck

On December 5, 2012, the world lost it’s greatest living jazz artist, Dave Brubeck.  Some may dispute that claim but consider his achievements. He was the first jazz artist to reach rock-star status with 1959’s groundbreaking album, Time Out, the first jazz album to sell a million copies. The album gave us the hit singles Take Five and Blue Rondo a la Turk and turned an esoteric art form that previously was appreciated only by beatniks and counterculture snobs into mainstream fare. Brubeck was so popular that he became only the second jazz musician (after Louis Armstrong) to be featured on the cover of Time. In addition to major concert halls, Brubeck played college campuses and brought jazz to new generations. But he was no populist lightweight. Serious jazz artists like Miles Davis covered his work and critics wrote odes to his experiments in time signature.

Needless to say, Brubeck, Paul Desmond and their various band members over the years, wrote and recorded some of the most iconic jazz music heard on the airwaves both then and now.  I saw and heard him play in various venues lo these many years, and was always, always fascinated by the depth and breadth of his creativity and technical genius, even at his last performance at Chicago’s Ravinia Festival last season.  I couldn’t fathom someone in their 90s being as facile and dexterous on a keyboard as he was.  I cherish his music, own 20 of his hundreds of CDs and still retain my original vinyl albums from back in the 1950’s.  Thank you, Mr. Brubeck for giving us the music that has touched our soul.

Rolla Heinen, Due Diligence Manager – The Alter Group, Music Lover