Dave Brubeck, 88 Keys, 88 Years, Another Honor

On Tuesday, Dave Brubeck was inducted into the California Hall of Fame along with eleven others including actors Jane Fonda and Jack Nicholson, fitness maven Jack LaLanne, musician and producer Quincy Jones, chef Alice Waters and -- posthumously -- Theodore Geiss (Dr. Seuss), scientist Linus Pauling, architect Julia Morgan, and Dorothea Lange, the photographer best known for documenting the human toll of the Great Depression. Brubeck turned eighty-eight on December 6. Paul Conley of Capital … [Read more...]

“What? You Know About Leo?”

Shortly after I posted the Doug's Picks selection of Wadada Leo Smith's new CD, Tabligh (see the center column), I was in a meeting with Daron Hagen. I casually mentioned Smith. "What?" he said, full of excitement. "You know about Leo?" It turns out that Hagen, a distinguished composer of operas, chamber music and orchestral works, was a teaching colleague of Smith at Bard College and holds him in high regard. That led to a discussion of one of Hagen's -- and my -- favorite propositions, that … [Read more...]