Joe Morello, drummer with the classic Jazz ensemble The Dave Brubeck Quartet passed away on Staurday, aged 82.
He was much underrated as a drummer. He was able to hold a steady groove (and solo as well) in some of the most obscure time signatures ever, and make it look so easy.
The Dave Brubeck quartet made a name for themselves playing "Cool" jazz in the 1950s, a style that was the direct opposite to the hard bop style prevalent at the time. It emphasised space between the notes of solos, as well as smaller sized ensembles too.
Brubeck also made weird time signatures accessible to even the most die-hard, jazz-hating music fan. The classic "Take Five", written in a time signature of 5 beats to the bar (as opposed to the most common one - 4 beats to the bar) is now iconic, identifiable to people who have never even heard much in the way of Jazz.
One thing I didn't know what that he was actually the drum teacher to Max Weinberg, who played drums with Springsteen in the E Stree Band.
We here at TSATF are glad to have heard and enjoyed the work of Mr Morello. Pretty much anything the Brubeck Quartet ever recorded for Columbia/CBS records is highly recommended, so go and hunt down some of it.
Check out some of Joe Morello below as part of his work with the Brubeck Quartet.
Take Five - live on Belgian TV 1964
Three To Get Ready - live on Belgian TV 1964
Drum solo from 1964