Other Places: Brubeck Remembered & A Niles Christmas

Rifftides is on hold, as explained in the previous post. However, I’m taking a moment for a couple of timely alerts.

Chris Brubeck posted a memoir about life with his father, Dave. Chris’s article is packed with family anecdotes about the patriarch of American music who died on December 5 at age 91. Here’s a sample:

We were really poor in those early days. When we went on the road, we would stay in old hotels that had cavernous closets—most times the closets were the best thing going for them. My older brothers Darius and Mike traveled with sleeping bags for those closets, that was their part of the “suite.” My parents got the bed and when I was a baby apparently I fit nicely in the dresser drawer with some blankets piled underneath me. We thought it was fun—indoor camping! We saved money up as a family because dad had to start his own record company to get his music out there. Perhaps you have heard of it—Fantasy Records! His partners were sons of a man who owned a record pressing plant. Dave supplied the talent, and they manufactured the recordings. Critics noticed, and the vinyl started moving. Then his partners screwed him out of the company. He was thrown off his own label due to some legal shenanigans. But once he was forced out of Fantasy, Columbia Records signed him and with their mammoth distribution the rest is history.

To read all of the piece, go here.

Again this year, in addition to Christmas jazz around the clock Christmas Eve and Christmas day, the Chuck-Nilesinternet radio station known as The Jazz Knob will present several instances of the late radio host Chuck Niles’s reading of “‘Twas The Night Before Christmas.” Niles (pictured) was a Southern California jazz disc jockey from 1957 until his death in 2004. His presentation of the classic Christmas poem became a tradition in the Los Angeles area. For the schedule of readings and to listen to The Jazz Knob any time, go here.

My brother Dave is a tough guy. He is holding on.

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  1. says

    Thanks for sharing Chris Brubeck’s inspiring memories of his father. As a little thanks, here’s yet another fascinating rendition of “Take Five,” a 1976-performance of vocal virtuoso Al Jarreau, transferred to YouTube from a German TV broadcast.

  2. mel says

    Thank you, Doug for posting the link to Chris Brubeck’s wonderful article about Dave; I would otherwise never have seen it.

    I hope and pray for the recovery of your brother Dave.

  3. says

    Thanks for the stories, Doug. I’ve known Chris for quite a while, and just met Darius last month on a gig in Connecticut with Marvin Stamm. They’ve had quite an adventurous life with Dave.

    Best thoughts to you and your brother… I hope his trip is an easy one.

  4. Dr Mike Baughan says

    I think Chris Brubeck’s article is one for Rifftides staff to repeat each Father’s Day as well.