RIP Dave Brubeck


“Take 5,” may get all the fame from cool jazz standard Time Out, but it’s the closing track, “Pick Up Sticks,” that shows Brubeck at the top of his ivory tickling game. It’s a piece that succeeds on its contradictions. Joe Morello and Eugene Wright’s rhythm section is simultaneously deep in the pocket yet very prevalent in the mix, Paul Desmond’s sax solo is relaxed but never shy, and D.B.’s solo feels both dissonant and confrontational, yet consonant and beautifully harmonic. His improvisatory ability may never be better exemplified then in those last two minutes; with each chord change he makes you can feel yourself climbing up a rung higher on the golden ladder to heaven.