The Aged P

…just toasting and ruminating….

mmmm…cool…Dave Brubeck Quartet..”Take Five”……..

While I was at uni between 1959 and 1962 when students talked about jazz they usually meant traditional Dixieland  jazz. Modern jazz didn’t have many enthusiasts because you couldn’t really dance to it. But I enjoyed it. Trad jazz was formulaic with little experimentation  whereas modern jazz was varies and innovative both in instrumentation and style.

Above all I loved the whole “cool” scene…..buttoned down shirt collars, narrow ties, neat Italian suits, the tinkle of glasses maybe and the wreaths of cigarette smoke – and nobody illustrated the essence of cool jazz better than the Dave Brubeck Quartet.

Brubeck’s blocky chords, Paul Desmond’s light melodic tone and the rhythmic tightness of Joe Morello and Eugene Wright were ideally suited to experiment with the odd time signatures that became a feature of their work and Take Five (written by Desmond partly to showcase Morello’s drumming) is probably one of the best examples of that style.

Live in Belgium 1964: Dave Brubeck Quartet..Paul Desmond (alto sax), Joe Morello (drums), Eugene Wright (bass) and Dave Brubeck (piano)


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The Unforgettable Nat “King” Cole…1919-1965…

You can’t mistake that soft, silky baritone voice….Nat King Cole was so big during the 40s/50s that the iconic Capitol Records building in Los Angeles was often described as “the house that Nat built”

Yet it is often forgotten that he was regarded as one of the top jazz pianists of his time, on a par with Oscar Peterson and Art Tatum and credited with being one of the first jazzmen to organise the piano/guitar/bass trio set up that became so familiar in the 40s…

Nat plays…

Nat sings….

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Cool Jazz Piano – Bill Evans & “Autumn Leaves”

Recorded in Italy in 1969 the Bill Evans version of the pop classic “Autumn Leaves”….beautifully improvised melody lines make this an all time jazz piano classic. Eddie Gomez is brilliant on bass and Marty Morell’s taut drumming gives the whole set an extra flourish.

When I was at university in the early 60s the vast majority of students were still into New Orleans style “trad” jazz but I always preferred the cooler side of modern jazz and nobody epitomised the essence of cool better than Bill Evans….

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