RIP Dave Brubeck, 1920-2012

Listen to a Tribute to Dave BrubeckJazz pianist Dave Brubeck, whose experiments in rhythm and style helped win millions of new jazz fans around the world, has died at the age of 91.

Listen online to a selection of recordings by Brubeck in a Tribute to Dave Brubeck by Liz Dutton (Alexander Street Press Music Editor).

Brubeck’s 1959 album Time Out became the first million-selling jazz record of the modern era, as songs Take Five and Blue Rondo a la Turk defied the indifference of critics to become classics in the genre.

Jazz Goes to College in 1954 sold more than 100,000 copies and led to Brubeck becoming the first jazz musician ever to appear on the cover of Time magazine.

Many critics felt his offbeat music did not swing the way jazz should, yet the magazine cover made him a household name and paved the way for the success of Time Out, which used rhythms unusual to jazz that Brubeck had heard in his travels around the globe. The album included the best selling track “Take Five” written by alto saxophonist Paul Desmond and also featured pioneering drummer Joe Morello. The album hit the top of both the jazz and popular music charts. The group sold millions of records before disbanding in 1967.

Find more recordings by Dave Brubeck  (and thousands more) online for free from Music Online anywhere with your library card number and PIN.

Judging a book by its cover

I remember my mother telling me not to judge a book by its cover. These days it is hard not to, because like most things, the packaging has become just as important as what is inside.

I thought I would randomly look at some  book covers on the catalogue that took my eye, and try to judge for myself what the book might be about.

This cover screams to me of chick lit, just a little bit funny and chaotic, no doubt contains a bit of romance and someone who loves to cook but is managing a struggling cafe.  I’m picking a happy ending. and I’m not too far off the mark

This December, Issy will have to rely on all her reserves of courage, good nature and cinnamon, to make sure everyone has a merry Christmas, one way or another. Indulge yourself and your sweet-toothed friends with Jenny Colgan’s new novel, simply bursting with Christmas cupcake recipes and seasonal sugar-fuelled fun.

In contrast this cover looks sad – even the horse looks miserable. Maybe a fantasy, set in ancient times perhaps? Nope, completely wrong on this one!

Moving between present-day Krakow and wartime Poland, ‘The Beautiful Truth’ tells a passionate and moving story of the way ordinary lives are swept up in extraordinary events. Heartbreaking and uplifting in equal measure, it will not be easily forgotten.

Another one of those quirky hand written type covers (there seem to be a lot of them around at the moment), so again I’m looking for a bit of fun and games, obviously a woman’s knitting group probably sitting around talking about the men in their lives, and no doubt a bit of hanky panky. I’m a bit off the mark with this one as well…

When a secretive American cult moves to the Gold Coast, freelance journalist Scout Davis’s investigative antennae start quivering. She sets out to expose the cult’s lunatic beliefs and bizarre practices.

Yes, ok, but what about the knitting? Ah, she belongs to a group of yarn bombers, I should have guessed.

This looks creepy, there is a target in the eye so I’m suspecting some sort of serial killer action.

Black Hole, the serial killer who’s been terrorizing Florida, and who earned that name by blowing out victims’ eyes with a Colt pistol has just landed on Detective Sam Becket’s patch in Miami Beach.

Right on the mark with this one then.

There are of course many covers that give nothing away, there is no choice but to read the blurb, Kirsty Gunn is a New Zealand author, and this book is:

Not so much a novel as a place the reader comes to inhabit and to know, “The Big Music” is a literary work of undeniable originality and power.

Is is presented as a collection of found papers, appendices and found notes, a book perhaps as plain as its cover but some people will love it, but it is not for me.

Lastly there are the book covers that you just love – who cares about what is inside!