With Dave Brubeck’s passing, interesting bits of arcana about his life and music are rising to the surface. BBC Radio 4 replayed a portion of an interview from 2000 on the network’s Front Row program with John Wilson. Brubeck tells Wilson about the role of vitamin B-6 in saving his hands and the unusual use of a bungee cord in his exercise routine. He illustrates polytonality by playing a bit of Duke Ellington’s “Things Ain’t What They Used To Be” in C and E-flat, simultaneously. To hear the six-minute conversation, go here and move the timer slide at the bottom of the screen to :24:05.
Then, see and hear an extended 1970 performance of “Things Ain’t What They Used To Be,” a blues staple in Brubeck’s repertoire, with Gerry Mulligan, baritone saxophone; Jack Six, bass; Alan Dawson, drums. It runs so long that YouTube had to present it in two installments.