Dave Brubeck Dies
Dave Brubeck has died. Only Eugene Wright remains of the classic Dave Brubeck Quartet, and he'll be 90 next year. We're running out of the people who projected the United States around the globe; soon we'll be left with little but vapid media constructs.
Brubeck didn't just write and play jazz, he promoted it. At a time when jazz, the quintessential American music, was being killed here by the music industry and our instant gratification culture, he constantly toured and lectured, bringing the music to new generations. I saw him play once, a million years ago when I was in high school, when he and his sons Chris and Darius were the guest pros for a high school jazz festival I was attending. Our little, podunk combo actually got to be part of the program. We were jazzed, pun intended. That, and thousands of stories just like it, will be Brubeck's true legacy.