Brubeck brought small combo jazz into the mainstream, much like Ellington did with big band swing, but small combo was probably a harder sell with its smokey basement room club sensibility. As a kid I remember hearing Take 5 as theme music for some Canadian TV show. That lp, Time Out, was one of the first real jazz lp’s I picked up. I dig those syncopations & grooved on Desmond’s ultra dry sax.
I eventually added lps Time Further Out, Time In. The ‘Out’ I have as stand alone. ‘In’ is part of an mp3 collection with other Brubeck’s. These are timeless jazz classics. They made me a fan of Desmond (more about him when I get to D). The scandal of replacing him with Gerry Mulligan still bubbles up in jazz today. Mulligan is great but quite different & the Brubeck work with him is different too – blusier.
black box crossing
At one time I had the 45 of Brubeck’s Mr Broadway theme which shows up on the Lp Impression of New York. Which is on the mp3 collection along with Storyville: a fine live lp. Gone With The Wind: Camptown Races anyone? Digs Disney: frisky fun but not risky. Jazz Impressions of NY/ Jazz Impressions of Japan: this is a fine pair of lps, stretching the group into fresh tempos & exploring show tune or koto rhythms. Bach: this a much later work which shows the depth of Brubeck’s piano playing technique.
He recorded extensively & in many settings, from duets with Desmond, big band, symphonic & solo. The stand alone Young Lions & Old Tigers has him working with the likes of Roy Hardgrove, Joshua Redman, George Shearing etc with a great set of timeless jazz. I think one of the reasons his work remains timeless is that he resisted the rock-fusion of the 70 & 80 & stuck to his more traditional roots. Traditional but never passe.
“There comes a time in everyone’s life when changes must be made.”
Tanya Devour sniggered at the sign over the mirror. The girls were to stop there for one last glance before they hit the stage. The only thing she’d change in her life now was the number of steps from the dressing room to the stage. Save her legs a bit of travel.
‘Yeah Tanya! Devour us!’
Two tables of college boys greeted her as she stepped in to the spotlight. The lights dimmed and she went through the motions of her number. She plied her trade. What a turn of phrase. Sweat dripped down her back. The music creaked out of the speakers. She moved on all fours to one of the stage side tables to allow the men there a closer look, a whiff of her perspiration, a brisk touch of her flesh as they stuffed fives into her bra, her waist band. Good thing she had gone for the extra strong elastic. Saved her a fortune in replacement, that did. Bungee cords would be next to keep what she kept on on.
She strode to centre stage and bent with her butt pointed at the table of college boys.
‘Yeah, Tanya. Come over for a drink.’ The boys exploded into raucous laughter.
A drink! that would be a change, too. Not that she had ever wanted to have a drink with any of the yahoos who had become her fans. Her feet ached, there was the buzz of pain in her left calf that had persisted for the last week or so.
‘Good house,’ Triple D Cadadad adjusted her D’s in the mirror.
‘Same as always. Those footballers from U of G are here again.’
‘Yeah heard ‘em. It’s only you they come for.’
‘It’ll be a cold day in hell before any of them come for me.’
‘Can’t get over it Tanya.’
‘Honey you ain’t no big gal like me. What do they see in you?’
‘Their cocks.’ Tender Trap called over.
‘Oh yeah. Fat chance. Well I gotta get changed.’ Tanya pulled her stilettos off and walked to the dressing room.
Six other performers were there in various stage of readiness. Any of them could have gone on just as they were she thought. No one cares what you got on only what you got off so they can get off.
She pulled a bill from her g-string. It was a hundred, a c note! Well someone must have liked her after all. The sign of a real fan who wanted to put his mouth where his money was.
September 9, Wednesday – Hot Damn! It’s a Queer Slam – season 2 kick off – 7:30 p.m. The Supermarket – 268 Augusta Avenue, Toronto. I’ll be back in the judge’s seat 🙂
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