BY THE WAY Four Accountants

Last night the waters of San Francisco harbour rippled to the sound of a YouTube film that has been viewed 31 million times. Not, as you might think, the musings of a botoxed influencer, but the Dave Brubeck Quartet playing Take Five live in a club in Belgium in 1964. It’s a performance to rave about – “they may look like four accountants, but this is a musical powerhouse right here” – and to compare Joe Morello’s drum break with the received version from the record.

Does it help to know that Brubeck studied with Darius Milhaud and, briefly, with Schoenberg; that he couldn’t read music until late on; that he had one English grandparent and a father who ranched cattle in California; that he set out in life to be a vet until his tutor begged him to go away and study music; that his heavy-handedness at the keyboard was a consequence of spinal damage from a diving accident in 1954; or that Brubeck refused dates where Green Book-type promoters objected to the presence of Eugene Wright, the Quartet’s African-American bassist?

Take Five live in 1964 – Paul Desmond, Joe Morello, Eugene Wright, Dave Brubeck
The record of Take Five (viewed 85 million times)


“four accountants” – the nice comment by @profile1674 under the live film

New York Times obituary –


1 reply »

  1. I had no idea Brubeck studied w Schoenberg! And good for him that he didn’t deal w those who followed the Green Book….