Brubeck December 5, 2012Posted by indigobunting in Uncategorized.
Dave Brubeck died today. I am a huge fan of his and of his quartet. I throw his discs into my CD player regularly. I saw the most recent incarnation of the quartet several times in concert over the last decade, which made me blissfully happy.
I am sad now.
For the record, I’ve always been a bit jealous that Susan was pals with Paul Desmond.
I should probably try to write something specifically about Dave Brubeck. About how the last time I saw him, he needed to be helped to the piano, but clearly needed no help at all once he got there. How at one concert, at intermission, I moved to a seat in the balcony just above him where I had a direct view of his hands on the keys. How his 5/4 and 9/8 time signatures seduced me into a new understanding of “natural.”
But I can’t take time out to write about Brubeck. Not even five. Work is crazy, and—as if you hadn’t noticed—I’ve been having trouble writing anything lately. Instead, I offer a repost of a four-year-old piece about his sax player, a man I imagine is mourning today. It’s called “Bobby Militello Doesn’t Know I Love Him.”
Bobby Militello doesn’t know I love him. He doesn’t know that he’s the potential target of well-aimed undergarments. He doesn’t know that when he plays his alto sax, it’s only him and me, and I can’t take my eyes off his hands. The man is all fingers and tongue and lung capacity. He doesn’t know that I know this.
Bobby Militello doesn’t know I love him. And he will never know, because I am too shy to tell him. Before last night’s concert, he walked on stage alone to retrieve that sax and flute. I was mere feet from him. I could have said something. I kept very quiet.
Bobby Militello doesn’t know I love him. And if I told him, what would he say? “Uh . . . thanks?” I’m sure other people tell him this all the time. I am not other people. I don’t need him to love me back. I am happy in unrequited awe, which I have perfected in my love for birds and their songs and their fierceness.
Bobby Militello doesn’t know I love him, that I love him possibly even more than I love his impossibly astonishing quartetmates.* He doesn’t know that we were in the room together the night I turned fifteen, back when he was with Ferguson, back when I was falling in love with jazz and maybe some guy older than Bobby Militello.
No doubt Bobby Militello knows that everybody loves him. But Bobby Militello doesn’t know I love him. I’ll keep him guessing, sit back, and listen to him improvise.
*Dave, Michael, Randy.