Number 215 | December 17, 2012
TCA would like to pay tribute to Dave Brubeck, American jazz pianist and composer who passed away on December 5.
Dave Brubeck's recordings and distinctive sound constantly won over listeners throughout his successful career. What makes Dave Brubeck intriguing to the world of jazz is his musical style, inspired by a U.S. State Department tour he and his band took to Eurasia in 1958.
When visiting Turkey, he observed a group of street musicians performing a traditional Turkish folk song that was played in 9/8 time, common to Turkish music, but extremely rare for Western music. This sparked his interest in experimenting with this deviation from the usual 4/4 time of Jazz and resulted in his band’s most famous album, "Time Out." The album included the hit tunes “Blue Rondo al la Turk” in 9/8 time, a play on Mozart’s “Rondo alla Turca,” and the remarkable “Take Five,” which sold over 2 million copies worldwide.Brubeck was a friend of Ahmet Ertegun, a Turkish American, and legendary founder of Atlantic Records, which also released some of Brubeck's albums. The two also shared a deeper connection in their conviction against and confrontation of racism in their times. More than once, Brubeck was asked not to perform with his racially mixed band, which he refused. He further used these controversies to express his moral passions through jazz, first by writing a jazz musical that dealt with race relations called, "The Real Ambassadors" and then by using Jazz to address social divides with "The Gates of Justice." Ahmet Ertegun, on the other hand, confronted racism by opening the Turkish Embassy in Washington, through his father Ambassador Munir Ertegun, to integrated jazz concerts and, as chairman of Atlantic Records, popularizing American jazz and African American composers and performers in the U.S. and across the world.