Wednesday, February 13, 2013


Say Dave Brubeck and I hear the music. I hear the da-da di da da, daa-daaa -- that rhythm, those rhythms that set you -- shoulders, arms, head, and feet -- shuffling, chugging, twitching, dancing.

Okay, sure -- stay where you are -- sit tight in your chair, or go stand at your window, and look out at whatever world you are in, and deliberately NOT hear it, NOT feel it, refuse to get involved with the da da di da da, daa-daaa.

I've tried to dance to it professionally, but I couldn't. I need a dramatic idea in order to choreograph a solo or a group number, and I don't have any idea in my head or my body (or soul), when I hear "Take Five."   All I can do is sort of horse around.

Yes, I'm an experienced choreographer.  I've tried moving, jiggling super quickly; tried moving against the rhythm as if I'm daydreaming, but the jiggle-shuffle-stuff to that rhythm just takes over my body again, and I'm stuck with wriggling improvisationally, to the da-da di da da, daa-daaa.

A few minutes ago, I horsed around online -- found film clips of civilians (non dancers), dancing to Brubeck pieces, as well as pros like the Peter Gennaro Dancers, Murray Lewis and his group, Lar Lubovitch and his ballet company -- all them looked too neat, too formal. Then I bumped into film clips of Brubeck's "UnSquare Dance."

Hang on to your hat, guys! Look and listen -- clap your hands on the offbeat, flex a knee, an elbow -- jump up, join in -- it's ten times more fun, and better exercise than any of the exercise gizmos or videos -- just click and dance around.
Hey Dave, I know you died about a month ago -- you've had lots of tributes paid to you, you're missed, you're a big name in music -- hey Dave. you're not gone. you're here, still playing, still giving us the ole Dave Brubeck's fantastical, bone joyous, glorious jazz.

Here are a bunch of famous folks, having fun with Brubeck.

Here's "Take Five."


Peggy Bechko said...

Oh, Em, I love it when you have music and dance clips. These were spectacular. What a great post.

Carola said...

Thank you for an unexpected pleasure injected into my day: listening to Take Five

O.R said...

They don't do it like that anymore, Em. :(!

Anonymous said...

That was a delight, Em. Thank you!
I'm not a big jazz fan, but somewhere in my childhood I heard 'Take Five' and it imprinted on my psyche; one of my favourite pieces of music.There's a part with just the repeating lower refrain that is as comforting as a lullaby.
'Take Five' to me is so perfect it's like it fits into a hole in my soul to make it whole.
And I couldn't stop tapping my foot to the dance numbers.
You have outdone yourself today!
Happy Valentine's Day to you too! : )))
Louise Sorensen
louise3anne twitter

Linda Phillips said...

My favorite! I actually got to see him play live at the 40th Annual Monterey Jazz Festival! That was about 16 years ago. I thought I had died and gone to heaven.

Anonymous said...

Great tribute to Dave Brubeck blog. I enjoyed listening to the videos of his music and why it is called 'real music." Gets you tapping your foot or hands or just flowing smoothly through some good jazz. thanks for sharing! kam

JD Holiday said...

Really sweet, Em. Great music. He was great!

Unknown said...

Thanks for sharing Em. Great music :)

Fantastic Books Publishing said...

Hi Em,

Take Five, what an awesome track. Every time I'm feeling down, put upon or just generally overworked I put it on and get transported to a carefree land of jazz and stress free finger clicking. Wonderful.

I think I'll smoke a cigarette slowly and blow the smoke across the front of a spotlight whilst sipping really good coffee. Ahhhh...

Thanks Em, another cracking post!

Dan :)