Archive for December, 2012

Remembering the Victims of Newtown

December 17, 2012

On Friday, December 14, 2012, almost 30 people – mostly children – were killed in one of the worst school shootings ever to have taken place: the massacre happened in Sandy Hook Elementary School, one of the highest rated schools in Newtown, CT. The killer, 20-year-old Adam Lanza, had snuck in to the school despite improved security measures, and committed suicide after the shooting.

This is beyond horrifying. President Barack Obama couldn’t have stated his feelings about this any better. No family or relative should ever have to see loved ones – especially children – or even themselves suffer an untimely fate, especially like this, when they didn’t do anything wrong to offend anybody.

Many people and organizations have already sent profound condolences to the families, relatives, and friends of the victims of the Sandy Hook shooting, and I send mine, too.

REMEMBERING: Dave Brubeck (1902-2012)

December 8, 2012

This week, the jazz music world lost one of its modern-era legends: Pianist and composer Dave Brubeck passed away in Connecticut one day shy of what would’ve been his 92nd birthday. Born in Concord, CA, in 1902, Brubeck often drew on his ability to improvise when creating tunes that ranged from sweet to intense.

Brubeck also wrote classical and spiritual music compositions and works for film and television, but perhaps his best-known work is the 1959-released tune, ‘Take Five,’ from the Dave Brubeck Quartet’s 1959 Time Out album. The first jazz single ever to hit platinum status in the United States (sell 1 million copies or more), and like most of Brubeck’s other jazz works, ‘Take Five’ made use of an irregular meter (5/4) alongside a well-recognized melody. It has since become a modern jazz standard, being covered at times in 4/4 meter by artists like the late Tito Puente. Perhaps the 5/4 meter in ‘Take Five’ could’ve been an inspiration for Lalo Schifrin to compose his Mission: Impossible theme.

Immediately after Brubeck’s death on December 5, 2012, Grammy-nominated jazz artists like Earl Klugh and even Grammy-winning legendary producers like Quincy Jones celebrated his legacy via Twitter, the popular social networking site. Brubeck was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award in 1996 and dozens of other arts awards and doctorate honors.

He’ll be surely missed.