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Dave Brubeck (and Ahmad Jamal and the Modern Jazz Quartet) was my first exposure to jazz in 1961. I thought this was the essence of jazz for the next ten years before I went out on the road with guys who had a much broader understanding of jazz and its roots. I like some of Brubeck's compositions, but I have to say that his music isn't really a good introduction to jazz, compared to Miles, Ellington, Armstrong, et al.
I used to beat out the rhythm to "Unsquare Dance" all the time when I was sitting around in college because I enjoyed it so much. Brubeck was definitely one of my favorites of that era, because I'm just that mainstream.
Rest in peace, good sir...
"The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt."- Bertrand Russell