Once again, the reason this entry has taken so long is because I had no idea what I would consider my “favorite album.” For one thing, I hardly ever listen to “albums” and most of my music isn’t arranged – in my mental space, anyway – by album. Then there’s the whole picking-a-favorite thing, which is, as we have seen, almost impossible for me in the area of music. I swear, if I ever do a blog meme again, it will not involve favorite anything.
So I decided that if I couldn’t pick the favorite of all the albums I have ever owned, I would choose a favorite album. But which one? Well, sometimes, you get lucky and inspiration hits. Today, it was just from seeing a track listing in my iTunes library.
My folks had this album when I was growing up, and even as a kid who didn’t have much use for jazz, I recognized it as amazing. I’m still not a jazz aficionado by any stretch of the imagination, but this album never ceases to amaze and astound and delight me. The offbeat time signatures, the crazy tempo switches, the bouncy upbeat moods… I could listen to this one over and over, taking nostalgic comfort in it and finding new things each and every time. If that’s not a good definition of a “favorite album,” I don’t know what is.
The song I spotted in my collection that triggered this inspiration was Take Five, but I chose instead to give you the opening track from the album, Blue Rondo a la Turk. I go back and forth as to which of those two is my favorite, and I finally decided that they are both equally brilliant, and I like this video, so that’s what you get.
But wait there’s more!
On December 6, 2009, Dave Brubeck was one of the honorees in the Kennedy Center Honors program. (It was a good crop that year. In addition to Brubeck, they honored Mel Brooks, Bruce Springsteen, Robert DeNiro, and Grace Bumbry.) It also happened to be Dave Brubeck’s 89th birthday. The presentation was amazing – watch for the reveal at around 3:30, and his reaction. Classic!
OK, I gotta go. I think there’s something in my eye.