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The Big Huerta Takes Five

brubeck 004a

brubeck 004a

Yeah, I know a lot of my thousands of readers, and I’m only talking to the ones that send me emails and large envelopes of cash via Iman Lababedi, (to keep their thirst for these weekly articles moving at a pace, that after completion, makes me look like Emil Zatopek after a grueling 10,000 meter run in Helsinki), you guys need to cool out and get a little bit of jazz easiness in your system…so Take Five along with me and the master of cool, Mr. Dave Brubeck.

Now Mr. Brubeck was born in California, a magical place that seems to breed musical genius as often as Governor Christie visits the all-you-can-eat buffet at Sizzler. He studied veterinary science in college but switched to music at the urging of one of his professors (Russell Johnson). Brubeck had a difficult time in reading music, in fact, he was almost expelled by one professor (Quincy Adams Wagstaff) when it was discovered that Brubeck could make neither hide nor hair of some written compositions.

Fast forward, since most of you have quit reading this anyways, we find Dave, may I call you Dave?, okay, we find Dave in the army and he meets Paul Desmond. Paul had a very famous sister that was an actress named Norma, that lived in Los Angeles off of Sunset. But unfortunately, I make a long story short, Brubeck and pals record some great tunes for the Fantasy label, some on colored vinyl, and these sell quite well. In 1959 the iconic LP, “Time Out” with drummer Joe Morello and Paul Desmond and Norman Bates (no joke this time) was released on Columbia Records. This song has one of the finest drum solos known to modern man. I could listen to this drum solo forever, simple but complex, just a fantastic song. Needless to say, this was a big hit for Dave Brubeck, along with the weird time signatures of “Blue Rondo ala Turk”. This record made him one of jazz first pop stars.

Many years later, Brubeck continued to make music and tour the world. He was voted into the California Hall of Fame, was a Kennedy Center Honoree, received many Doctor of Music degrees from several colleges. He even played with his sons in the band. Dave Brubeck passed away a day before his 92nd birthday. He was known as a family man, a true Californian laid back in his ways, modest and gentle, a clean living jazz musician and one of the coolest jazz icons to ever play the piano. He turned a lot of people onto jazz that had never listened to it before. RIP Mr. Cool, Dave Brubeck.

I painted the background with metallic spray paints, to give the portrait a shining golden look along with the sky blue to give it a nice positive feel. I used oil paints and the metallic still bled through that but I thought that gave it a cool look, so I left it like that, as if his spirit shined through the painting. So until next week, take care, be safe and respect each other, TBH.

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