Paul Desmond, Brubeck, Time Magazine discussed on Fresh Air


Was the impact of this recording? Brubeck time on your career? Well, it It saved wonderful time in my life because We had been Struggling for years, too. Get to be more known. And as you mentioned the cover of Time magazine was really something that helped us a lot. But when you mentioned Audrey, it Was Audrey Hepburn that we had in mind. And We never realized that That she ever had heard this tune. There was no communication like that. And because she was so important at the United Nations for the work she did with Children. When they did the memorial service for her there. Her husband asked that they play what you just played. And, uh, They said that she usually played it every night or put it on. Her headphones as she walked through her garden and Switzerland. So It was wonderful to hear that. I wish Paul Desmond had been around to know that she listened to it and liked it. How is the recording Brubeck time different from your previous recordings. Well, at that time I was starting To, um Do different. Time signatures. But the record companies were kind of leery of getting out of the usual dance temples that were mostly for four. An occasional walls. So eventually, after Brubeck time we did time out. Which had take five. Blue Rondo three to get ready. And again, the record companies were a little afraid of it. But Against their wishes. I forced them to put time out out. And it became the biggest seller they ever had in jazz. No, your your first record that I think really made, Um An impression. On the record buying public. I mean, I got bought a lot was a jazz goes to college, and it was sessions recorded at three different colleges. Yeah, and You know there's a picture of you on it. You're wearing your glasses and that those glasses were really such a part of your image. And I think, in part because that record was jazz goes to college and become part because of those kind of thick plastic. Glasses. You maybe had the image of being what was known in those days as an egghead. Oh, I wish I had. I'm not that smart, but People forget that. At the same time, we had a huge Following places like the Apollo Theater, the Howard Theater in Washington. And, uh, the universities. That They used to call black universities, Afro American universities. We played the so called black clubs all through the south, where there We're no white people came in. And in some of the black clubs. We were the only white group that came in. This is what I wish people would remember on. We integrated. Many, many universities. In this country. And, uh, Those are important things to remember. Wasn't just Ivy League. Places. Have. We were really doing some work that People seem to forget. How hard it was to do. You had to have a police escort to the concert. Mm hmm. President College, refusing to let you go on in the students demanding you gone. I could tell you a lot of stories about that. The problem was that you were wider that one of the musicians in the band was black. Eugene Wright was black. Yeah, so that was that was we couldn't do some television shows. Because in those days you couldn't have black and white together. One show I had to turn down. Duke Ellington took Does he? At the moment he had an old black band. Sometimes said Duke would have AH white drummer like Louis Belson. And that would maybe Give him problems if they just didn't want mixed groups on television. Let me play what might be the most famous of the Brubeck Quartet recordings and let's take five. Which recorded in 1959. Would you talk about this composition? It's it's a Desmond composition, but I think you worked with him on it. Yeah. Mm hmm. Has done a radio show in Canada before he died, where, he said. I'm so fortunate that Dave assigned me You do? The section and 54 because That was the one track I wanted Paul to do. As a solo for my Percussion is the great drummers Joe Morello. Was Joe would often play in 54 time backstage, which is, uh, Time signature that was very rarely, if ever used in jazz. So I would hear Paul start to improvise over job playing on a drum pad. Before you'd go on stage. And, uh, So I said, just write some of them. Melodies. The idea is that you're doing And bring it to rehearse on a few days. So that's what happened. He came And he had some ideas. That I thought were great. The first thing he said, I can't write anything in 54. I've tried and I said, Let me see what you got. So he Showed me what he had. And I said, I can put this together. It would be great. And, uh, I put this what he had together as a team. One theme, too. And that's how that the thing was born, and I need to take five and he objected that name and I said Why Palm, he said. Nobody knows. Would take fine means. What does it mean? I said everybody knows. But you, Paul Desmond, what? Take five means So I argued, winning. I kept that title, which I think Is a great title. Then, of course, I later wrote the words to it, so I had to look a little bit to do with this tune. Well, before we hear it. I want to thank you very much for talking.

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