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Jazzman Dave Brubeck Celebrates 'Indian Summer'


The dictionary defines "Indian summer" as a happy or flourishing period occurring toward the end of something. It's also the title of a new album of solo piano pieces by jazzman Dave Brubeck. As VOA's Doug Levine tells us, Brubeck is having an Indian summer of his own.

At 86, Dave Brubeck has no intention of retiring. In the past year alone, he has performed in dozens of cities coast-to-coast, as well as seven nights of concerts in Malaysia with the Singapore Chinese Orchestra. He introduced his commissioned piece, The Cannery Row Suite, at the 2006 Monterey Jazz Festival, and recently made his 14th appearance at the Festival with his quartet and veteran guitarist Jim Hall.

In March, he traveled to Washington, D.C., to accept a Living Legend Award from the Library of Congress.

So, when many his age are enjoying the quiet life, Dave Brubeck has elected to spend his twilight years doing what he does best, playing jazz.

The change of seasons is a prominent theme on Brubeck's new album. A tune he wrote with his wife Iola, Summer Song, is about the passing of time. He says, "It's a reflection of an older person looking back at his younger days."

Dave Brubeck's younger days were anything but quiet. In 1954, he was featured on the cover of Time magazine. By the end of the decade, The Dave Brubeck Quartet was known worldwide for their jazz classic, Take Five, from the million-selling album Time Out.

Although musicians have come and gone over the years, The Dave Brubeck Quartet is still very much intact, either touring or recording all year long. Apart from his group, Brubeck is a prolific interpreter of the Great American Songbook. Among the many standards on his latest effort is the title track Indian Summer, which Brubeck first recorded more than 50 years ago.