The Brilliance of Dave Brubeck
My debut writing for The New Yorker’s website, an appreciation of Dave Brubeck (and Paul Desmond):
Brubeck’s work embodied two of the generative tensions in creative music: the balance between predetermined structure and improvisational freedom, and between the individual and the ensemble. He recognized that increasing the complexity of the composed materials (whether through underutilized time signatures or through orchestral ambition) did not necessarily shackle the improviser. With the right players, it could be a spur pushing the performer toward new territory.