Goodbye to another legend, this time in Jazz. Rest in Take 5 (and much more) harmony. Dave Brubeck (December 6, 1920 – December 5, 2012)
There is much about Brubeck out there of course, but two interesting trivia facts – he was initially training in veterinary science, and later when he left it to pursue music, one of his professors nearly expelled him because they discovered he couldn’t read notes in music. (Paul McCartney, too, btw never learned to read musical notations.) But then several of his professors came forward to support, arguing that his ability with counterpoint and harmony more than compensated for his inability to read music. The college was still afraid that it would cause a scandal, and agreed to let Brubeck graduate only after he had promised never to teach piano.
Ha! Little did they know, right?
Dave went on to have not only one of the most successful careers as a jazz musician, but led a happy life with his wife, children and several grandchildren. Shy and introverted, he was also ‘bothered’ that Time magazine featured him on its cover before featuring composer, pianist and big-band leader the mighty black Jazz legend Duke Ellington.
Goodbye, Dave Brubeck…..Thank you for your genius and sharing your gift with the world.
Here’s Brubeck ‘taking the A train’…
And Oscar Niemeyer, too….(15 December, 1907 – 5 December 2012)
And while I was writing this, I found that one of the luminaries of modern architecture the great Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer had passed away just a few hours ago. He was 104….married to his first wife for 76 years till her death, and then marrying his long-time aide at the age of 99. Another accomplished life, filled with innovation, going against the grain and a full, dynamic spirit. He leaves behind five grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren and thirteen great-great grandchildren.
For a period in his life, Oscar was forced into exile in Europe and his office pillaged during the time of the military dictatorship in Brazil due to his fiercely leftist views.
Here are some quotes and interesting facts about Oscar:
Niemeyer had always claimed to be a staunch atheist, basing his beliefs both on the “injustices of this world” and on cosmological principles: “it’s a fantastic Universe which humiliates us, and we can’t make any use of it. But we are amazed by the power of the human mind […]. In the end, that’s it – you are born, you die, that’s it!”. Such convictions never stopped him from designing religious buildings, which spanned from small catholic chapels, through orthodox churches and large mosques. He was also sensible to the religious experiences of the believers who use his buildings. In the Cathedral of Brasília, he intended the large glass openings “to connect the people to the sky, where their lord’s paradise is.”
Niemeyer was most famous for his use of abstract forms and curves that specifically characterize most of his works; he didn’t stick to traditional straight lines, for unlike many modernists of his time he was not attracted to straight angles or lines but rather captivated by ”free-flowing, sensual curves… [like that] on the body of a beloved woman.”
“I am not attracted to straight angles or to the straight line, hard and inflexible, created by man. I am attracted to free-flowing, sensual curves. The curves that I find in the mountains of my country, in the sinuousness of its rivers, in the waves of the ocean, and on the body of the beloved woman. Curves make up the entire Universe, the curved Universe of Einstein.”
For a great photo-gallery of Niemeyer’s work in the UK Guardian, click here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/gallery/2012/dec/06/oscar-niemeyer-life-architecture-pictures#/?picture=397995668&index=3
For some stunning black & white photographs of his work by Marcel Gautherot, click here: http://tinyurl.com/ahkxkz8
Other posts on jazz and architecture & sensuality:
Star Trek Jazz: https://gipsygeek.wordpress.com/2010/06/25/star-trek-jazz/
Sex and the Starchitect: https://gipsygeek.wordpress.com/2010/04/03/sex-and-the-starchitect/