A Note From Joe on Dave Brubeck

December 06, 2012
Dave Brubeck had a lifetime in Jazz like no other. We were truly blessed to have been on the scene with him all of these years. His love and passion to communicate his ideas, sounds and feelings have inspired us all to tell the truth in our music. As a composer he wrote so many great tunes that everyone loves to play, Miles’s versions of "The Duke” and “In Your Own Sweet Way” are classics along with his own. I especially loved his quartets with Paul Desmond and Gerry Mulligan. The way he featured his drummers, whether it was Joe Morelo or Alan Dawson, was very influential for me as well.

One of the greatest honors of my career was when he called me to record with him on his record “Young Lions and Old Tigers” along with Roy Hargrove, Michael Brecker, Christian McBride, Joshua Redman, James Moody, George Shearing, Jon Hendricks and Gerry Mulligan. It was 1995 to commemorate Dave’s 75th birthday and to my surprise he wrote a tune on the way to the studio for me. He called it “The Joe Lovano Tango” – a very hip modal piece that I was able to shape and express freely within. Dave was great to work with and very insightful. In the liner notes he says he finished my tune on the way to the studio in the car to New York from Connecticut. He explained the concept to me as not to play it as a typical tango but more as a comment on a tango and that I should feel free to take it any direction I want to go. I am very proud to have known Mr. Brubeck and to have his trust like that, having never played with him before that moment in the studio. He was a true Jazz Master !!! To be a part of his amazing recorded history is one of the great highlights of my life in music.

- Joe Lovano