As musicians, we try to explore the whole area of our musical heritage, – from African drum batteries , to Bach, Jelly-Roll, Stravinsky, or Parker. As human beings we try to explore the whole area of human emotions. Our task as jazz improvisors is to translate emotions into a musical language which deepens our understanding and awakens our senses.
I think of an audience as a co-creator, the fifth instrument to our quartet. How an audience chooses to play its part is determined anew each time musicians and listeners gather together.
The first challenge of a jazz performer is to unify the audience so that it becomes an entity. Once this unity of feeling is established, we can begin to share a creative experience. The improvisors become the articulate voice of the group. This inspired moment of unity is the purpose of jazz. It is the moment we may or may not find in this performance, – but it is the reason we are here.
Paul Desmond, Joe Morello, and Eugene Wright are strong individuals. From their different personalities, musical perspectives, and backgrounds came the strength of this quartet. My function as a leader was to harmonize those differences, not by altering any individuality, but by building upon their separate strengths. We communicate with each other on a plane beyond differences. I think you as a member of our audience have always understood this instinctively. We are grateful for that understanding, and welcome you to our first reunion.
From the 25th Anniversary Reunion of the Dave Brubeck Quartet
Why music and ideas
What we can learn from music. How we create and what we create with music. How music contributes to our creative and cultural evolution and to creating community. What we could create with music. How we could increase the contribution of music and our music community. How we could increase the contribution of music to our experience of life, to our imagination, and to our ability to create possibilities. How we could all play a part.
Centres for creative enterprise