Brubeck and Percussion

Dave Brubeck was one of those rare crossover artists, a fine musician and composer who managed to be popular outside his home patch of jazz, and hel popularise it as a genre.

He was most famous for his Take Five’ which turns up in all sorts of sampling, and as a soundtrack to films:

But I am also impressed with the fact that he made some really innovative use of percussion. Not the standard drum kit, but hand clapping, finger clicks and all sorts of other noises, as here in Unsquare Dance, another one that is often sampled and soundtracked.

The title is also a feature of much jazz music, in its use of plays on words, and a sense of playfulness in the performance. Jazz is often seen as old farts music, but it continues to be a field for the most innovative improvisers.

On the subject of strange percussions, a documentary on the BeeGees a while back, It seems the late Maurice Gibb was the trio’s musical innovator, and instead of drums on ‘Jive Talking, he used foot stamping, not a common thing, but clearly worked.

How did that brass section play sideways?

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