Jazz great Dave Brubeck had recently just died at the age of 92. Missed the news while I was away in Laos, which is (ironically) surprising as the well-trodden tourist trail of Laos is quite wired-up:- every guest house I stayed in had wi-fi. (Or maybe it was a good thing I wasn’t that tuned in.)
I can’t quite remember where I had first heard Dave Brubeck’s music. Maybe on the radio when the classical music station used to have a jazz segment on weekends. Or maybe from someone’s recording. Definitely before the internet era. What I still remember though is being enthralled by the quirky beats on the first listening (Brubeck has a penchant for irregular time signatures). And the team-up with the saxophonist Paul Desmond. And the Quartet, consisting of both white and black musicians playing jazz, itself an unusual sight in those days. Little would they know that on the other end of the earth, an Asian school girl would be listening to their music decades later.
And the news reminded me that I haven’t listened to jazz in a while. It’s time to revisit some of the classics.