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One of biggest gifts that comes from playing with a great ensemble is meeting and making music with ...
A day with Dave Brubeck
One of biggest gifts that comes from playing with a great ensemble is meeting and making music with great artists. Today, I had the honor of working with the artist, Dave Brubeck and his current trio.
Bobby Militello/ sax and flute
Michael Moore/ bass
Randy Jones/ drums
His conductor was Russell Gloyd. That's significant because Russell is a former trumpeter and good friends with the LSO section and knows Maurice Murphy and Rod Franks very well. If he knew I were writing this I know he'd want me to sent regards through the UK readership.
At very first, Russell was a bit curt and it seemed he was not looking forward to rehearsing with us. After all, he didn't know us and I think was ready for a bit of drudge work. Oh, he was certainly polite enough but you know how it is... let's get to work and let's try to read this stuff without too many stops for corrections. After about three or four tunes we noticed he was starting to loosen up and was joking around a bit with us. By intermission he realized what a pearl of an orchestra he had in front of him. He was very happy by rehearsal's end.
Dave Brubeck is an absolute prince, what can I say? I went up to him at the end of the rehearsal and told him that I am a big fan of Dennis Prager's talk-radio show and, as a result, hear "Take Five" virtually every day since Dennis plays it as bumper music every day at least once during the three hours. He smiled a beautiful smile and quickly went on to say how wonderful the orchestra sounded and went on and on about it. Ever notice that the great artists never let you compliment them for very long? They usually quickly turn it around and acknowledge your efforts.
So it came time for the show and I drove through a summer storm of rather epic proportions and finally got to the hall at 7:28 pm... plenty of time for an 8 pm show. Ahh, but if only it had been scheduled for 8 pm!
Yup, that's right, sports fans, I blew it! Since this was the first 7:35 show in a few months I neglected to check the time and assumed it was later (our weekend shows are at 8; all the rest are at 7:30). Fortunately, I was dressed in my dress shirt and black pants and only had to tie my bowtie and put on the white jacket. So much for more than a few chromatic scales as a warm up. The first half was my warm up. It went fine though, no problems.
At the end of the show, I went back to thank Mr. B. and tell him how much I enjoyed playing with him and told him I could hardly wait until he and the rest of the quartet returned to play with us again. He smiled and gave me a hug and thanked me, once again praising the orchestra. In particular he was moved by a passage that the brass played "Theme for June".
Here was the program:
Three to Get Ready
The Basie Band is Back in Town
Blue Rondo a la Turk
Theme for June
Take the A Train (encore)
All four gentlemen are fabulous musicians as was the conductor who was a total Johnny On The Spot being completely prepared and helpful to us. It was a memorable evening.
I LOVE THIS JOB!!!
What a great time that must have been.
I wish I could have seen it!
The Willard of Oz
"Don't be afraid to see what you see."
Mezzo Piano User
Great story Manny! I'm glad you had such a good time.
Yeah, that,s what im talking bout!
You heard it here 1st, in what ever u do if u buy the ticket u take the ride!
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Bobby Militello is a monster. He brought the house down at the Monterey Jazz Festival a couple years back. Great story, Manny.
We did a similar program with him in NY in June. The guy (and his quartet, and Russell) were outstanding. It's hard to believe that Mr. B. just turned 85! A classy player and gentleman.
You should have heard your buddy, Chuck Laz. who was playing second last night. At least twice he said "Man... I would so love to be up there blowing changes with that guy!" He looked like he was about to run up to the front of the stage and nail a few choruses. We really had a ball. Most of all, it was great to see the whole band excited to play a pops show.
That's a great story, Manny. I grew up with Brubeck's music playing all the time...my Mom was a big fan. I had Desomd's unmistakable sound burned into my head, as well as Mr. Brubeck's rhythmic sense. Great story. Glad you had fun!
"Roses have thorns; shining waters mud. Clouds and eclipses stain the moon and the sun; and history reeks of the wrongs we have done. After today, after today, consider me gone."- Sting
Thanks for sharing about Dave. What a class act ICON!
Many years ago...(1958) I was a music major at Pacific University in Forest Grove Ore.
I took a beautiful young lady to hear Dave play at the Portland Art Center. Paul Desmond who I have always thought was about the greatest improvisor ever to play a sax. However, after seeing them in live performance once before this...Paul often appeared to be so laid back and relaxed, almost detached from both the audience and the music that was being played by his colleagues.
After his part of playing was finished, he often would turn his back on Dave and the audience....that is until my date smiled at him...he smiled back...she blew him a kiss. Paul blew that kiss back to her.
Everyone laughed, even managed a big grin outta Dave, who as we know just how deeply he gets into his music.
Dave and Paul came down to our table, where a bunch of my music buds from college had gathered before walking out for a quick intermission.
What trend setting days..."TAKE FIVE"...and just to think...how great it was to meet up close and personal, such amazing musicians n'allthatjazz.
When were you going to be here in the Northwest...I have your E mail bookmarked somewhere. I have a gooooooooood memory, but a really short one (memory, that is!
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