1. I wrote about postmodernism, neoliberalism, and jazz in a recent review for BLARB. You can read it here.
  2. I really enjoyed working on that review, and have decided to keep up doing them on this blog. I’ll post short reviews here periodically, starting next Tuesday.1
  3. This spring, I’ll be presenting early research on feminist indie rock at three talks: Pop Culture Association (Philly), IASPM-US (Ann Arbor), and the Penny Lecture Series at Miami. The latter is taking place March 2, from 6-8 in 001 Upham Hall.

1 I have stolen the phrase “Tuesday Tunes” from Hannah Segrave.

Dave Brubeck, Briefly

Ben Ratliff wrote a great obit for the NYTimes, and the mainstream media is covering his death as well; I’ll be brief.

I can’t remember when I first heard “Time Out” because it seems that its existence was always a given. My guess is that I was still in middle-school, which was early enough for me to be pretty much blown away.

Encounters with Brubeck’s music were relatively rare after that. He played at Oberlin when I was still in Cleveland, but I didn’t end up making the drive. My drum teacher had studied with Joe Morello–the drummer on “Time Out” and a significant figure in our universe–who we lost in 2011. I did have the really fun opportunity to play “Blue Rondo”, which apparently is a significant challenge on the piano.

By all accounts Brubeck was insanely active all the way until his death. I have read about the classical writing he did, but the most I heard was a jazz festival performance from 2010. I didn’t like the sax player he had been touring with, so I didn’t give it much of a chance. But I really did appreciate Brubeck’s paired-down style, even on tunes I pretty much hate listening to (like A-Train).

Certainly a figure to remember, and a truly great public face for improvised music. Below is a video of the “Blue Rondo” performance I did sometime around 2009. Aren’t we all so cute?

RIP, Dave.