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Spotlight SUNDAY OBSERVER- APRIL 20, 1958. Those of us who heard Dave Brubeck and his Combo in action will say a thousand thanks to those who made it all possible. Never in all our lives have we had the privilege of listening to such unadulterated, uninhibited music, played by some of the world’s best artistes. To watch Brubeck in action was to see fresh, new visions of music and rhythm. If drums could sing there never was a sweeter rhythm than what Joe Morello beat out. This genius was playing 4 different rhythms simultaneously; his right foot didn’t know what his left did and his left hand made music his right hand had never played and the four together synchronised to fit just one word “PERFECTION.” I had the good fortune of talking to Dave Brubeck and asked a question often in my mind and in that of many other music lovers: Why is it, I asked, is jazz usually associated with such dark backgrounds? One visualises alcholics and drug fiends, smoky atmospheres etc. Is it true that good jazz musicians must take artificial stimulants to make them give of their best? Dave Brubeck raised his hands almost I horror, “No, never”, he said do you know the story of selling your soul to the Devil, a thousand melodies and stories have been written around it, sooner or later the devil will catch up on you, my Combo never drinks – look at men like George Shearing. They never touch liquour or drugs and see where they are today. My own Combo is a living example of this terrible misconception – no musician least of all a good one needs any artificial stimulant to make him give of his best.” “Have you any children?” I asked, Yes Dave Brubeck has four and all jazz fans. But he never believes in forcing the stuff on them, when they want to learn they’ll come for it and already Junior (aged 9) is on the Dave Brubeck way. “What will you take away from each country” I asked. “The Rhythm of the drums,” he replied. “In India I was fascinated and here too I know I will be.” The Indians appreciated and understood Brubeck’s music very well. But, then as a Rage, so the modern jazz school improvises on a melody and Dave Brubeck has successfully combined the melody of the West with the rhythm of the East the classical and the jazz, and with it all the artist is free completely and entirely to lose himself in his own creative talent. What better expression is there, for the inner urge to make music?

Date Original


Date Digital

January 2007


Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library

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Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library


This item is part of the Brubeck Collection, MSS 004.

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