Sunday, December 11, 2016

Sunday music: If you don't love bluegrass, you hate America

This is not quite bluegrass.  String Cheese Incident is one of those hippy jam band type groups that came around in the '90s, mixing bluegrass with rock, jazz and other stuff, but guitarist Bill Nershi and mandolinist Michael Kang really do know bluegrass.  Today, though, we honor the passing of Dave Brubeck;)  This piece is way overplayed, but give credit where credit is due.  Prior to 1959, jazz was stuck in a rut of time signatures.  Basically, all they knew was 4/4.  Brubeck came out with an album called Time Out in 1959 that threw out all the rules, and made everyone realize that there was a wide array of possibilities.  Unfortunately, this piece is the only one anyone remembers.  The rest of the album is even more wild and brilliant (my favorite is Blue Rondo a la Turk), but at least this caught on, and the rest of the jazz world paid attention.  Without people like Brubeck to break the rules on time signatures, experimental styles like M-BASE wouldn't exist.  No Brubeck, no M-BASE.

1959 was an amazing year for jazz.  Miles Davis' Kind of Blue.  Charles Mingus' Mingus Ah Um.  Horace Silver's Blowin' the Blues Away.  I could keep going, but really, 1959!  The year for jazz.  So, here's a vaguely bluegrass-ish tribute to Dave Brubeck.


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