Label: Not On Label - RSR-864 • Format: Vinyl LP, Album, Limited Edition • Country: US • Genre: Jazz • Style: Smooth Jazz, Contemporary Jazz
Dave Brubeck has been a musical pioneer, pushing beyond the traditional forms and standard techniques of American jazz. From the earliest days of Brubeck groups playing in San Francisco in the late s, Brubeck established himself as an innovative and unusual jazz musician using unorthodox techniques such as multiple rhythms, unusual time signatures, and playing in more than one key at a time.
For other jazz musicians and aficionados, these techniques - polyrhythm, polytonality and odd time signatures - became trademarks of Brubeck's jazz style. Brubeck himself understood that they often made his style hard for other musicians to copy. Even some critics have missed the beat of his more experimental ideas. Take polyrhythmfor example, a technique which involves playing more than one rhythm in the Blue Rondo Ala Turk - The Howard Hanger Jazz Fantasy - Wonder Of It All (Live At Blue Ridge) piece.
Brubeck dreamed up this idea as a teenager, riding horseback on the 45,acre ranch that his Dad managed. From his perch in the saddle, Brubeck would listen to the rhythmic clip-clop of the horse's hooves and try to think of other beats to play against it in his mind.
And the you start another one and then think in another one,' Dave explains 'And then you try to think of another rhythm against those.
It gets very hard and very challenging, but you Blue Rondo Ala Turk - The Howard Hanger Jazz Fantasy - Wonder Of It All (Live At Blue Ridge) nothing to do - you might as well try things like that. Nearly twenty years later, when Brubeck was auditioning musicians for what would become his 'classic quartet,' he was taken with Joe Morello's polyrhythmic drumming. Four different rhythms,' Brubeck explains. The Brubeck quartet's deliberate use of polyrhythm was something some critics didn't understand.
Brubeck remembers that the reviews sometimes left him feeling frustrated and misunderstood. We were able to bring up these polyrhythms and all keep our individual beats going the whole time. The reviewer the next day said, 'The Brubeck Quartet can't even keep time together. They don't know how to criticize it. It was traveling to other countries and other cultures that prompted another of Brubeck's breakthrough techniques -- the use of odd time signatures.
Brubeck's push led to the creation of the quartet's breakthrough album, Time Outnamed for its use of a variety of odd time signatures. The success of the album proved that although Brubeck's experiment with odd time signatures was a departure from standard jazz, it appealed to a wide audience. Not only did Take Five surge to the top of the charts, but Time Out sold No Escaping It - Jimmy Owens - No Escaping It a million copies and became the first jazz record to go gold.
In addition to experimenting with different beats, Brubeck took his multi-layered playing to a new level through the use of polytonality - the technique of playing in two keys at once. He would start out playing a song with both hands in one key -- G for example - and then all Maps For Sleep - Half String - Eclipse sudden, his right hand might travel up the keyboard and begin playing in B flat, while his left hand remained in G.
The use of two different keys, combined with his other techniques, produced a new sound that audiences had not previously heard in standard jazz. Gradually musicians and composers wanted to stretch that and get it more complicated. Despite the controversy and criticism that his unconventional style seemed to draw, Brubeck never wavered from following his own path.
Or play the way they want you to play? For me it was more important to play the way I wanted to play. Often it got me fired. But Brubeck's unique rhythms and style resonated with audiences.
Dave not only won the hearts and loyalties of millions of jazz fans, he created a sound that had cross-over appeal, introducing jazz to new listeners. The Tribute To The DJ - Reggae Regular - Ghetto Rock and Production Team.
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