The Big Read Blog (Archive)

A Literary Salute to Dave Brubeck

Dave Brubeck at work. Photo by Tom Pich

NEA Jazz Master Dave Brubeck died last week just a few days shy of his 92nd birthday. Thankfully, the NEA captured his soulful spirit on tape which you can listen to here in these very short NEA Jazz Moments featuring Brubeck and his music. A few years later, we licensed excerpts of iconic songs like "Pick-Up Sticks" and "Take Five" off his wildly popular album, Time Out, for our Big Read audio program about Tobias Wolff's novel, Old School. The album broke serious ground in 1959 when it was released, and its infectious, cool sound---along with Elvis and Miles Davis---is something we imagined the literary-minded students in the book listening to as they assume the role of writer, which is every boy's dream at this top-shelf boarding school.

Along with sharp commentary by Wolff himself, our audio guide to Old School also excellent music by Elvis, Link Wray, and the soundtrack to the film, Atonement. Definitely worth a listen.[4:36]





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