03.18.15JACK SIX/ FRANK MODICA, JR
Sad to report that we recently lost two very special individuals who were very much a part of the Brubeck family. Bassist Jack Six passed away on February 24 and Dave’s long time agent Frank Modica, Jr. passed on March 15.
Jack first played with Dave in 1967 when Jack was called in at the last minute to play the bass part to Dave’s first major composition, “The Light In the Wilderness” when it became obvious that the local bass player was not up to the task. Dave told the story of sitting in the hotel restaurant and, seeing Jack drive up to the hotel, asking him if he wanted something to eat. Jack’s response was:
”Dave, if it’s all the same to you I’d rather see the music”.
A few months later, Dave received a call from George Wein asking Dave to perform in Mexico City for the jazz festival that coincided with the 1968 Summer Olympics. Dave explained to George that he had retired and that he no longer had a group. George then told Dave that there would be 350 jazz musicians out of work, because the Festival had made it quite clear that, without Brubeck, there was no Festival.
Dave had always been great friends with Gerry Mulligan, even to the point of having Gerry record for Fantasy Records at the time when Dave was A&R for Fantasy. Gerry was totally receptive to the idea of performing with Dave. Now all that was needed was a rhythm section. This is when Dave remembered the great job that Jack Six did in North Carolina. Dave called, and Jack was on board. For the drummer, George’s wife Joyce recommended a Boston drummer, Alan Dawson.
Thus was born The Dave Brubeck Trio with Gerry Mulligan.
This was a group that was to do a few “warm up” concerts prior to Mexico City and then thank you very much. Instead the group was having so much fun that they stayed together until 1975.
(Please click on the first track under the “Listen” tab to hear a live recording from Berlin in 1970 of “Sermon On The Mount”, which is from “The Light In The Wilderness”, the very first work that Jack ever played with Dave. Gerry Mulligan is on baritone sax with Alan Dawson on drums)
After 1975, Chris Brubeck took over the bass chair, on electric bass, with the New Brubeck Quartet. When the sons went in different directions, Chris stayed with his father, with Randy Jones on drums and either Bill Smith on clarinet or Bobby Militello on alto sax and flute.
Jack rejoined the Quartet in 1988 and played through June of 1998. He recorded several albums for MusicMasters and Telarc, as well as the DVD “Brubeck Returns To Moscow.”
(Please click on the second track under the “Listen” tab to an “after hours” recording session from the Blue Note jazz club in New York City for a performance featuring Jack on “River Stay ‘Way From My Door”. Bobby Militello is on alto sax with Randy Jones on drums)
How to describe Frank Modica, Jr. except to say that, as Dave’s agent, he was dedicated to protecting Dave Brubeck. While Jack Six was on stage every night, Frank was always in the background, having negotiated the best possible deal for every engagement. That is the job of a professional agent, and Frank was one of the best. Oh sure, he was “old school”. How many times did he leave a recorded message by saying “Call me back station-to-station”?
At various times in his career as an agent he represented artists such as Harry James, Nancy Wilson, Johnny Mathis, Stan Getz, Gerry Mulligan, Chet Atkins, Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis and Sarah Vaughan. He began his association with Dave in 1971 and continued right up to when Dave stopped performing in 2011.
He was a bulldog when dealing with promoters, but was well respected by all that knew him.
Jack Six and Frank Modica, Jr.
They will be missed
11.07.12DAVE BRUBECK QUARTET WINS AGAIN
For the second time in two years, The Dave Brubeck Quartet has won downbeat magazine's Readers Poll as the Best Jazz Group. This is incredible considering the fact that Dave no longer tours.
10.25.12ANOTHER REVIEW OF "THE VERY BEST OF DAVE BRUBECK; THE FANTASY ERA
Please click here for a review from Daggerzine.com
10.25.12VOICE OF AMERICA
Please click here for an article about Dave Brubeck from the Voice Of America
08.21.12BLOGCRITICS REVIEW OF "THE VERY BEST OF DAVE BRUBECK: THE FANTASY ERA
Please click here for the latest review of "The Very Best Of Dave Brubeck: The Fantasy Era 1949-1953
08.17.12BLINDED BY SOUND REVIEW OF "THE VERY BEST OF DAVE BRUBECK"
The Very Best of Dave Brubeck: The Fantasy Era
Posted on Tuesday, August 14, 2012, by Greg Barbrick
The Concord Music Group have been releasing some interesting jazz collections lately, under it’s Very Best of series. The first five came out a couple of months ago, and featured Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Chet Baker, Sonny Rollins and Wes Montgomery. The second edition of the series has just been released, and spotlights Cannonball Adderley, The Bill Evans Trio, Dave Brubeck, Vince Guaraldi, and Thelonious Monk.
The key to these collections is that they were all recorded for the Fantasy and Riverside labels, during the 50s and early '60s. For this listener, the only other competition for classic “beatnik” jazz was Columbia. They released two of the most influential jazz albums ever with Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue and Dave Brubeck’s Time Out, which were both released in 1959.
Davis and Brubeck were with Fantasy before Columbia though. As mentioned, the Miles collection was part of the first group of The Very Best of. This time Brubeck gets the nod. The full title is The Very Best of Dave Brubeck: The Fantasy Era 1949-1953. Even though this series is budget priced, Concord did not skimp on creating an enticing package. This single-CD contains a total of 15 tracks, from seven different albums.
I like the opening line from writer Neil Tesser in the accompanying booklet: “As the title says, this collection presents the music of Dave Brubeck - but before he became “Dave Brubeck.” I think fans know what Tesser means here. Brubeck became “Brubeck” with his later experiments with time signatures, of which Time Out is certainly the most famous.
It seems a little ridiculous now, but when Brubeck started out he had a couple of strikes against him. For one thing, he was white. He was also very proudly West Coast, which certainly went against the New York mind-set of the time. And he made no bones about playing what came to be called “cool” jazz. His approach to the piano, and his arrangements were considered more “intellectual” than the swinging, improvisational styles of other players. To employ a rather obvious pun, time would prove his methods to be just as valid as those of anyone else.
The first four tracks were from the Dave Brubeck trio, which included Ron Crotty (bass) and Cal Tjader (drums). In the beginning, Brubeck was partial to standards, especially those of Rodgers and Hart. Of the 15 tracks, only one is credited to Dave Brubeck. His music really came into its own with the addition of one of the most underrated saxophonists of all time though, Paul Desmond. The two of them worked wonders together, and Desmond appears on the remaining 11 songs.
Paul Desmond was an integral part of the Dave Brubeck Quartet from 1951 to 1967, and the music they made together on Fantasy, (and later Columbia) was brilliant. All of these Very Best of sets work as great samplers of each artist, and I imagine the hope is that fans will spring for some of the full albums represented. The Dave Brubeck Quartet pioneered the idea of playing concerts at colleges. The 6:33 version of “Stardust” from Jazz at Oberlin is pretty great, and if I were to choose one album of the seven that this compilation draws from, it would be Jazz at Oberlin. It is an excellent concert through and through.
03.15.12POPMATTERS REVIEW OF THE STUDIO ALBUMS COLLECTION
Even though there are some minor errors, please click here for another great review of the Studio Collection.
03.12.12NPR REVIEW OF THE STUDIO ALBUMS COLLECTION
Please click here for a review from NPR of the 19 CD Columbia Studio Albums Collection
02.29.12STRETCH ORCHESTRA WITH MATT BRUBECK NOMINATED FOR THE CANADIAN JUNO AWARD
Stretch Orchestra, a trio with Matt Brubeck, Kevin Breit and Jess Stewert, has been nominated for a Canadian JUNO award for Best Instrumental Album of the Year. The awards ceremony will take place in Ottowa on April 1, 2012. For more background on Stretch Orchestra, please click here . Once you get to the category click on "Stretch Orchestra".
01.27.12NEW TRIPLE PLAY CD WITH DAVE BRUBECK AS GUEST ARTIST
Please click here for information regarding the February 7 release of Chris Brubeck's Triple Play CD "Live At Arthur Zankel Music Center" with Joel Brown and Peter "Madcat" Ruth with Special Guests Dave Brubeck and Frank Brown
12.20.11A MESSAGE FROM DAVE
December 20, 2011
I celebrated my 91st birthday just two weeks ago today. As Eubie Blake remarked on his 100th birthday, “If I’d known I was gonna live this long I would have taken better care of myself.” Although I have retired from touring, I’m still at the piano every day and am thinking about doing another solo piano album of wonderful old tunes that most people have forgotten. It seems I’m about the only one left who still remembers them.
Sony/Legacy has been busy producing some new/old releases. “Their Last Time Out” has never been issued as an LP or CD, the tape only having been discovered this past year. It is a live recording of the last concert, December 1967, of the “classic” quartet with Paul Desmond, Joe Morello and Eugene Wright. Although we did get together in 1976 for a reunion tour, at that moment we all thought this would be our last time on the stage together, so there is a special atmosphere and emotion that can be detected in this live taping.
On my 91st birthday Sony/Legacy released a boxed set of CDs consisting of all (19) of the old Quartet’s studio recordings including the very first, “Brubeck Time”. The set includes the jazz impressions albums-- U.S.A, Eurasia, Japan, New York; the composer series—Cole Porter, Richard Rodgers, Matt Dennis—as well as the four “Time” series LPs and some of my favorites such as “Dave Digs Disney”, “Gone With the Wind” and “Southern Scene”.
Since my birthday is in December, the combination of birthday cards and Christmas cards and holiday greetings causes a cascade of mail in our letter box. I wish I could answer every one of them, but there is no way that I could do it, so I am hoping that you will have checked our website where I want to print in very large letters
I am so grateful to all of you who have followed my music through the years and surprised and happy when young listeners tell me they have discovered and like my music. I hope this will lead them to explore more of the great jazz legacy.
Iola joins me in sending your way a warm wish for HAPPY HOLIDAYS and a blessed Christmas.
12.15.11"TIME OUT" Article
Please click here for a very comprehensive article about "Time Out" from today's "All About Jazz".
12.14.11BOSTON GLOBE REVIEW OF THE COLUMBIA STUDIO SESSIONS BOX SET
Please click here for the December 13 Boston Globe review of the 19 CD box set containing the complete Columbia studio albums collection 1955-1966 , including 9 albums on CD for the very first time
12.14.11HARTFORD CURRANT REVIEW OF "THEIR LAST TIME OUT"
Please click here for the review in the Hartford (CT) Currant's electronic edition of "Their Last Time Out", the just released live recording of what was thought to be the "classic" Dave Brubeck Quartet's final performance which took place in Pittsburgh PA on December 26, 1967.
11.29.11A MESSAGE FROM SIMON ROWE, DIRECTOR OF THE BRUBECK INSTITUTE
Please click here for a message from Simon Rowe, newly appointed Director of the Brubeck Institute
07.06.11BRUBECK & SONS REVIEW AND PHOTO FROM RAVINIA
Please click here for the Chicago Tribune review of "Dave Brubeck & Sons" at the Ravinia Festival on Father's Day, June 19, 2011. Also for a photo of the sons with Dave and Iola Brubeck please go to "Gallery"
06.03.11"TIME OUT" CERTIFIED DOUBLE PLATINUM
Recorded and released in 1959 "Time Out" was certified double platinum by the RIAA signifying sales of over 2 million units, thus joining a very small circle of jazz albums ever to achieve this milestone. Dave was presented with a plaque by the president of Sony Legacy, Richard Story. Richard and Adam Block, vice president for A & R, drove to Dave's house in Connecticut for the presentation.
04.27.112011 DOWNBEAT COLLEGE AWARDS ANNOUNCED
In The May issue of Downbeat the 2011 College awards were announced. The Brubeck Institute Fellows received a total of five awards. The winners are: Outstanding Performance (Chad Lefkowitz-Brown, saxophone) Outstanding Performance (Nick Frenay, trumpet), Original Composition-"Deviation" (Chad Lefkowitz-Brown), Jazz Arrangement-"All My Love" by Dave Brubeck (Nick Freney) Outstanding Jazz Group (Fantasy V with Joe Gilman Musical Director). Fantasy V consists of the Brubeck Fellows 2009-2010 which recorded the CD 90/10 at the Fantasy Studio in Berkeley, CA in May of 2010.
Congratulations to all!
12.05.10LA TIMES ARTICLE DECEMBER 5, 2010
Please click here for the article on Dave Brubeck published December 5, 2010 in the Los Angeles Times.
12.01.10WALL STREET JOURNAL ARTICLE DECEMBER 1, 2010
Please click here for the article on Dave Brubeck published today, December 1, 2010 in "The Wall Street Journal"
11.09.10DAVE BRUBECK QUARTET WINS 2010 READERS POLL
The December 2010 issue of "DownBeat" magazine contains the results from the 75th Annual Readers Poll, awarding Best Jazz Group for 2010 to The Dave Brubeck Quartet. The first time that Dave's name surfaced in the DownBeat Readers Poll was in 1950, winning for the first time in 1953 as well as wining the Critics Poll the same year. Dav went on to win the Readers Poll in 1954, 1955, 1960, 1962, 1963, 1964 and 1965.
The members of The Dave Brubeck Quartet are Randy Jones (drums) who started with Dave in 1979, Bobby Militello (alto and flute) who first played with Dave in 1983 and became the regular soloist in 1994 and Michael Moore (bass) who started in 2001. It must be noted that for most of the 80's the group consisted of Bill Smith (clarinet) who first played with Dave in 1946 at Mills College and was a founding member of The Dave Brubeck Octet, and son Chris Brubeck (electric bass and bass trombone). Both the current quartet and the quartet from the 80's are featured on the 2 CD Concord release "The Definitive Dave Brubeck". CD #1 features Dave's Fantasy recordings including a 1942 solo piano recording from Dave's student days at the College of the Pacific. CD #2 has four tracks from Concord Jazz, including "Take Five" from Moscow, and four tracks from Telarc, closing with the 2007 studio recording of "Forty Days". In the "Gallery" tab, cick on "The Dave Brubeck Quartet" for a picture of the current group.
In addition to winning the Jazz Group, Dave placed 6th under "Piano" and 3rd under the "Composer" category.
Not bad for someone about ready to celebrate his 90th birthday on December 6.
04.22.10US HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES HONORS DAVE BRUBECK
Please click here to read House Resolution 1283 submitted by Congressman Paul Hodes, Second District, New Hampshire, honoring Dave Brubeck.
03.22.10SMITHSONIAN JAZZ APPRECIATION MONTH FEATURES DAVE BRUBECK
The 2010 Jazz Appreciation Month portrait of Dave Brubeck was created by artist LeRoy Neiman to celebrate Brubeck's Jazz legacy. Please click here for the link to the Smithsonian site for more information.
02.16.102009 KENNEDY CENTER HONOREES AT THE WHITE HOUSE
Please click here for the video of the White House reception that took place just prior to the Awards Gala on December 6, 2009.
04.28.08Dave Brubeck Receives the Benjamin Franklin Award for Public Diplomacy
On April 8, 2008 at the U.S. Department of State, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice honored the recipients of the inaugural Benjamin Franklin Awards for Public Diplomacy. The awardees were chosen for their outstanding leadership in advancing America's ideals through public diplomacy by offering a positive vision of hope and opportunity rooted in America's belief in freedom, justice, opportunity and respect for all.
The creation of the Benjamin Franklin Awards for Public Diplomacy was announced by Secretary of State Rice in January 2007 at the Private Sector Summit on Public Diplomacy to recognize that all sectors of American society - individuals, schools, foundations, associations, and corporations - actively contribute to advancing America's ideals through public diplomacy. The awards highlight that solutions to the challenges of the 21st century will come from these sectors working together to empower, educate, and inspire key audiences such as women, youth, and educators; and to engage with under-served communities and grassroots organizations both in the United States and abroad.
This new award program is the most prestigious honor that the Department of State can bestow on American citizens who are making outstanding contributions to public diplomacy. The awards were presented in four categories: individuals, corporations, academic institutions, and not-for-profit organizations.
Individual Category Award Winner: Dave Brubeck
As a pianist, composer, cultural emissary and educator, Dave Brubeck's life's work exemplifies the best of America's cultural diplomacy. Declared a "Living Legend" by the Library of Congress, his career has spanned seven decades, giving thousands of concerts and devoting countless hours to introducing the language of jazz to new generations around the world. In 2000, the University of the Pacific founded the Brubeck Institute to honor two of its most famous alumni, Dave and his wife Iola. The mission of the Institute is to build on Dave Brubeck's legacy and his lifelong dedication to music, creativity, education, and the advancement of important social issues including civil rights, environmental concerns, international relations, and social justice. This year marks the 50th anniversary of Dave Brubeck's first tour for the Department of State. We recognize Dave Brubeck for offering a positive vision of hope, opportunity and freedom through a musical language that is truly American.
Winners in other categories include the following:
- Non-Profit Organization: Search for Common Ground
- Academic Institution: University of Southern California
- Corporation: Johnson & Johnson
The Benjamin Franklin Award for Public Diplomacy is managed by the Office of Private Sector Outreach for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, which was established in 2005 to engage U.S. businesses, universities, foundations, and private citizens in the critical work of public diplomacy. To nominate a candidate for the Benjamin Franklin Award for Public Diplomacy or to discuss potential partnerships, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.