This article is copyright 2017 by Antonio J. García and originally was published in JAZZed, Vol. 13, No. 1, January 2018. It is used by permission of the author and, as needed, the publication. Some text variations may occur between the print version and that below. All international rights remain reserved; it is not for further reproduction without written consent.

Errors occurred in the original publication that were not the responsibility of the author. The document below has been fully corrected.

A Visit to the Brubeck Archives

by Antonio J. García

Brubeck Display

The welcoming images at the entrance to the Brubeck Collection at The University of the Pacific.
Photo credit: Antonio J. García.

This past summer marked my first trip to The University of the Pacific (Stockton, CA) as a member of the Brubeck Institute Advisory Board. The mission of the Brubeck Institute is to build on Dave and Iola's legacy and their lifelong dedication to music, creativity, education, and the advancement of social issues including civil rights, environmental concerns, international relations, and social justice. Through performance, education, and outreach, the Institute continues Dave and Iola's belief in our shared humanity and the power of music to connect audiences from all walks of life.

On my one full day in Stockton, I took advantage of a couple of unappointed hours to make an appointment with Mike Wurtz, the Head of Holt-Atherton Special Collections at the University of the Pacific Library, where the Brubeck Collection is housed. I'll share with you here some of my notes. Mike has granted me specific permission to share the related images with you.

Personal Picks

The entrance to the Archives includes a montage of images and items (seen above) that span much of Dave Brubeck's career and life with Iola Brubeck. Mike had asked in advance what I might want to explore during my brief time at the Collection. I'd replied that when I get in a taxi in a new city, I like to ask the driver what excites him/her there. When I talk to a jazz colleague, I want to know similar. And so I'd be delighted if he'd show me some of "Mike's Picks"—some of the things that excite him about the collection.

The Collection offers some great online resources for exploring what one might want to research. Start at <www.go.pacific.edu/archives> and click on “Brubeck Collection.” There you will find links to a detailed inventory, digitized materials including a video oral history with Dave and Iola, and other collections at Pacific that are related to Brubeck, such as the Paul Desmond Papers.

Some of the online listings initially caught my eye. I enjoy recorded interviews but knew I would not have time this visit to experience those. I enjoy historical photographs; so Mike showed me some of his favorites from the 1950s and 60s in particular, including from the 1958 Dave Brubeck Quartet tour of Europe and Asia sponsored by the U.S. State Department, along with later photos spanning the Reagan-Gorbachev summit.

But musically speaking, I enjoy examining unfinished manuscripts, once in particular having had the memorable pleasure years ago of comparing in depth a half-dozen drafts of the composition "Laurie" by the pianist Bill Evans. So I noted that the Brubeck Collection had listed a number of manuscript sketches, some with words by Iola Brubeck; and greatly enjoyed what Mike then showed me.

A Living Archive

One of the differences between the Brubeck collection and so many others is that keeping with the Brubeck's charge to make the Collection a "living archive," visitors can handle almost any of the materials directly. Whether an undergraduate student at Pacific or a visiting researcher, the material is available to you first-hand.

“The Brubeck Collection is exemplary in the diverse ways that it can be used,” explains Wurtz. “We frequently instruct students in history, psychology, and business to use the Collection because it shows—like all of our collections—that no collection is one-dimensional. The Brubeck Collection is not only about ‘Take Five’ or Dave Brubeck. It can be used to study international diplomacy, family life, and most importantly, Civil Rights.

“Brubeck’s record of integrating his bands and his audiences during WWII, 1960s U.S. South, and mid-70s South Africa is well documented with clippings and letters. One of the most remarkable letters comes from Brubeck’s New York booking company, encouraging him to find a white bass-player while he is touring the South.

ABC letter

Brubeck Collection, Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific
Photo credit: Mike Wurtz.

“Dave refused; the tour was cancelled at a great financial loss; but Dave’s message was clear.”

Following The Trail

You could sample a bit of how Brubeck himself learned. Available at the Brubeck Collection is a sketch of a musical exercise he'd composed at the request of his very brief teacher, Arnold Schoenberg, during Brubeck's active military service, with Dave's own reflection from a later time written at the bottom:

Schoenberg

© Dave Brubeck
Brubeck Collection, Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific
Photo credit: Antonio García.

Significant to me is that Brubeck, who had not thrived in written music while in college, felt confident enough to draft this exercise in pen!

There were evolutionary trails in the music. For example, laying the draft of "You Know I Want You Back" side by side with a printed lead sheet of "Bossa Nova U.S.A.," you could see why the top of the former page includes a note that the earlier sketch "became Bossa Nova U.S.A. about 10 years after this original":

You Know.Bossa Nova A

© Dave Brubeck
Brubeck Collection, Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific
Photo credit: Antonio García.

A close-up shows how in the eventually newer version Brubeck has changed the key and meter:

You Know.Bossa Nova B

© Dave Brubeck
Brubeck Collection, Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific
Photo credit: Antonio García.

You can hear the resulting tune on the 1963 album of the same name; much of the music referenced within this article can be also heard on YouTube.

How did the musical germ for Brubeck's "In Your Own Sweet Way," written as a dedication to Iola, take form? There are resemblances—and differences—within this brief sketch:

Sweet Way

© Dave Brubeck
Brubeck Collection, Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific
Photo credit: Antonio García.

You can hear one version of the eventual tune from its first recording on the 1956 album "Brubeck Plays Brubeck.” Brubeck stated in the liner notes to another album that he'd composed this tune in one evening.

Iola wrote lyrics to many of his tunes, whether released or not. I was fascinated by this sketch with her lyrics on a draft of "Briar Patch Rainy Day Blues," composed by Dave in Briar Patch, Alabama, with her lyrics in printed hand, plus alternate or second-verse lyrics in script beneath them.

Briar Patch

© Dave Brubeck
Brubeck Collection, Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific
Photo credit: Antonio García.

I don't believe there are commercially released versions of this tune, though the Collection lists an unreleased recording of the Dave Brubeck Quartet featuring vocalist Jimmy Rushing and "Briar Patch, Take 10."

Adding to the Collection

Many of the sketches present were represented identically on the eventual recordings. One such page was what seemed as an original alto sax part for Paul Desmond of the bridge melody of "Blue Rondo a la Turk" from Brubeck's legendary "Time Out" album of 1959:

Blue Rondo Bridge Alto

© Dave Brubeck
Brubeck Collection, Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific
Photo credit: Antonio García.

Or there was Dave's original piano fragment of his composition "The World's Fair," from his 1963 album "Time Changes":

The World's Fair

© Dave Brubeck
Brubeck Collection, Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific
Photo credit: Antonio García.

This fragment had actually not been formally identified as from "The World's Fair" until I pointed it out; so I have now contributed a small bit of data to the Collection.

I'd had a former student at Northwestern University, now Dr. Rick Selva, who had written his dissertation on "The Saxophone In Sacred Music," including interviews with Dave Brubeck and saxophonist Bobby Militello. In later years Rick hosted his own Dave Brubeck Tribute weekend at Schoolcraft, where Rick teaches, with guest artist Russell Gloyd, who had served as Dave Brubeck's symphonic and choral director for Dave's many sacred works over the years. Realizing that Rick's materials were not in the Brubeck Collection, I was promptly able to connect Rick with Mike Wurtz; and now the Collection includes Rick's dissertation, audio recordings of interviews, photos, and also materials from the Schoolcraft tribute.

Visiting the Original Score

I had been very fortunate to perform Brubeck's oratorio "Voice of the Holy Spirit" as a tenor and bass trombonist within the orchestra surrounding the Brubeck Quartet in Richmond in 2005 under Russell Gloyd's direction so enjoyed looking at the 1985 score and its penciled annotations. You can hear the opening and this following page on the London Symphony recording of the work.

Voice Spirit p1

© Dave Brubeck
Brubeck Collection, Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific
Photo credit: Antonio García.

 

Voice Spirit p9

© Dave Brubeck
Brubeck Collection, Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific
Photo credit: Antonio García.

Desmond’s Lessons

The archives of Brubeck's longtime musical colleague and the credited composer of "Take Five," Paul Desmond, are also in the Pacific collection as the "Paul Desmond Papers." At age 22, married, broke, and debating about becoming a short-story writer or continuing as a musician or both, he wrote the following excerpt of many pages.

Desmond 1.2.47

Paul Desmond Papers, Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific
Photo credit: Antonio García.

Such doubts are not uncommon in music students or young alums! Desmond also benefited from very determined action plans, with notes as to music-business approaches. Music students and young alums can benefit from this as well. Check out the final two paragraphs in particular.

Desmond Memo

Paul Desmond Papers, Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific
Photo credit: Antonio García.

Opportunities

            In addition to the Brubeck and Desmond Collections, Pacific houses a number of other related collections. The David van Kriedt Papers include a number of scores and parts van Kriedt had created as a member of the Dave Brubeck Octet. The Howard Brubeck Papers of Dave’s older brother consists of musical scores by Howard Brubeck, plus some letters from Howard to Dave and Iola in 1961 and 1962. The Susan Matheson Collection on Iola Brubeck represents Matheson’s study of and thesis on Iola, with recorded interviews and transcripts conducted from 1995 to 1999 with various musicians and individuals involved with the Brubecks from both a musical and business perspective. The Iola Brubeck Letters to Mary Jeanne Sauerwein consist of dozens of letters and postcards from Iola Brubeck to a close family friend between 1947 and 2000.

All in all, my visit to the Brubeck Collection and Desmond Papers was an invigorating and inspiring trip through an important time in jazz history. Anyone, anywhere in the world, can explore its listings and some of its offerings online at the links above. But I encourage anyone on the west coast to visit it personally.

If you live elsewhere but have focused research to do at the Brubeck Collection, note that the University of the Pacific Library offers an annual $1,500 research travel grant, awarded as reimbursement for travel and lodging expenses incurred while visiting Stockton, California. The grant is open to students, professors, and independent researchers. The application deadline is July 31; the award is made in August; and travel must occur before September of the following year. To apply for the grant, send a one- to two-page vitae and a one- to two-page proposal describing the research project and how it will involve the Brubeck Collection. With the Centennial of Dave Brubeck’s birth arriving in 2020, now is an especially fine time to research one of the world’s greatest musicians and musical ambassadors.

Read Antonio García's 2001 interview of Dave Brubeck, "Dave Brubeck: His Music Keeps Us Here."

 

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Antonio J. García is a Professor of Music and Director of Jazz Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University, where he directs the Jazz Orchestra I; instructs Applied Jazz Trombone, Small Jazz Ensemble, Music Industry, and various jazz courses; founded a B.A. Music Business Emphasis (for which he initially served as Coordinator); and directs the Greater Richmond High School Jazz Band. An alumnus of the Eastman School of Music and of Loyola University of the South, he has received commissions for jazz, symphonic, chamber, film, and solo works—instrumental and vocal—including grants from Meet The Composer, The Commission Project, The Thelonious Monk Institute, and regional arts councils. His music has aired internationally and has been performed by such artists as Sheila Jordan, Arturo Sandoval, Jim Pugh, Denis DiBlasio, James Moody, and Nick Brignola. Composition/arrangement honors include IAJE (jazz band), ASCAP (orchestral), and Billboard Magazine (pop songwriting). His works have been published by Kjos Music, Hal Leonard, Kendor Music, Doug Beach Music, ejazzlines, Walrus, UNC Jazz Press, Three-Two Music Publications, and his own garciamusic.com, with five recorded on CDs by Rob Parton’s JazzTech Big Band (Sea Breeze and ROPA JAZZ). His scores for independent films have screened across the U.S. and in Italy, Macedonia, Uganda, Australia, Colombia, India, Germany, Brazil, Hong Kong, Mexico, Israel, Taiwan, and the United Kingdom.

A Bach/Selmer trombone clinician, Mr. García serves as the jazz clinician for The Conn-Selmer Institute. He has freelanced as trombonist, bass trombonist, or pianist with over 70 nationally renowned artists, including Ella Fitzgerald, George Shearing, Mel Tormé, Doc Severinsen, Louie Bellson, Dave Brubeck, and Phil Collins—and has performed at the Montreux, Nice, North Sea, Pori (Finland), New Orleans, and Chicago Jazz Festivals. He has produced recordings or broadcasts of such artists as Wynton Marsalis, Jim Pugh, Dave Taylor, Susannah McCorkle, Sir Roland Hanna, and the JazzTech Big Band and is the bass trombonist on Phil Collins’ CD “A Hot Night in Paris” (Atlantic) and DVD “Phil Collins: Finally...The First Farewell Tour” (Warner Music). An avid scat-singer, he has performed vocally with jazz bands, jazz choirs, and computer-generated sounds. He is also a member of the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences (NARAS). A New Orleans native, he also performed there with such local artists as Pete Fountain, Ronnie Kole, Irma Thomas, and Al Hirt.

Mr. García is a Research Faculty member at The University of KwaZulu-Natal (Durban, South Africa) and the Associate Jazz Editor of the International Trombone Association Journal. He serves as a Network Expert (for Improvisation Materials) for the Jazz Education Network and has served as President’s Advisory Council member and Editorial Advisory Board member. His newest book, Jazz Improvisation: Practical Approaches to Grading (Meredith Music), explores avenues for creating structures that correspond to course objectives. His book Cutting the Changes: Jazz Improvisation via Key Centers (Kjos Music) offers musicians of all ages the opportunity to improvise over standard tunes using just their major scales. He is Co-Editor and Contributing Author of Teaching Jazz: A Course of Study (published by NAfME) and authored a chapter within The Jazzer’s Cookbook (published by Meredith Music). Within the International Association for Jazz Education he served as Editor of the Jazz Education Journal, President of IAJE-IL, International Co-Chair for Curriculum and for Vocal/Instrumental Integration, and Chicago Host Coordinator for the 1997 Conference. He served on the Illinois Coalition for Music Education coordinating committee, worked with the Illinois and Chicago Public Schools to develop standards for multi-cultural music education, and received a curricular grant from the Council for Basic Education. He has also served as Director of IMEA’s All-State Jazz Choir and Combo and of similar ensembles outside of Illinois. He is the recipient of the Illinois Music Educators Association’s 2001 Distinguished Service Award.

Regarding Jazz Improvisation: Practical Approaches to Grading, Darius Brubeck says, "How one grades turns out to be a contentious philosophical problem with a surprisingly wide spectrum of responses. García has produced a lucidly written, probing, analytical, and ultimately practical resource for professional jazz educators, replete with valuable ideas, advice, and copious references." Jamey Aebersold offers, "This book should be mandatory reading for all graduating music ed students." Janis Stockhouse states, "Groundbreaking. The comprehensive amount of material García has gathered from leaders in jazz education is impressive in itself. Plus, the veteran educator then presents his own synthesis of the material into a method of teaching and evaluating jazz improvisation that is fresh, practical, and inspiring!" And Dr. Ron McCurdy suggests, "This method will aid in the quality of teaching and learning of jazz improvisation worldwide."

About Cutting the Changes, saxophonist David Liebman states, “This book is perfect for the beginning to intermediate improviser who may be daunted by the multitude of chord changes found in most standard material. Here is a path through the technical chord-change jungle.” Says vocalist Sunny Wilkinson, “The concept is simple, the explanation detailed, the rewards immediate. It’s very singer-friendly.” Adds jazz-education legend Jamey Aebersold, “Tony’s wealth of jazz knowledge allows you to understand and apply his concepts without having to know a lot of theory and harmony. Cutting the Changes allows music educators to present jazz improvisation to many students who would normally be scared of trying.”

Of his jazz curricular work, Standard of Excellence states: “Antonio García has developed a series of Scope and Sequence of Instruction charts to provide a structure that will ensure academic integrity in jazz education.” Wynton Marsalis emphasizes: “Eight key categories meet the challenge of teaching what is historically an oral and aural tradition. All are important ingredients in the recipe.” The Chicago Tribune has highlighted García’s “splendid solos...virtuosity and musicianship...ingenious scoring...shrewd arrangements...exotic orchestral colors, witty riffs, and gloriously uninhibited splashes of dissonance...translucent textures and elegant voicing” and cited him as “a nationally noted jazz artist/educator...one of the most prominent young music educators in the country.” Down Beat has recognized his “knowing solo work on trombone” and “first-class writing of special interest.” The Jazz Report has written about the “talented trombonist,” and Cadence noted his “hauntingly lovely” composing as well as CD production “recommended without any qualifications whatsoever.” Phil Collins has said simply, “He can be in my band whenever he wants.” García is also the subject of an extensive interview within Bonanza: Insights and Wisdom from Professional Jazz Trombonists (Advance Music), profiled along with such artists as Bill Watrous, Mike Davis, Bill Reichenbach, Wayne Andre, John Fedchock, Conrad Herwig, Steve Turre, Jim Pugh, and Ed Neumeister.

The Secretary of the Board of The Midwest Clinic and an Advisory Board member of the Brubeck Institute, Mr. García has adjudicated festivals and presented clinics in Canada, Europe, Australia, The Middle East, and South Africa, including creativity workshops for Motorola, Inc.’s international management executives. The partnership he created between VCU Jazz and the Centre for Jazz and Popular Music at the University of KwaZulu-Natal merited the 2013 VCU Community Engagement Award for Research. He has served as adjudicator for the International Trombone Association’s Frank Rosolino, Carl Fontana, and Rath Jazz Trombone Scholarship competitions and the Kai Winding Jazz Trombone Ensemble competition and has been asked to serve on Arts Midwest’s “Midwest Jazz Masters” panel and the Virginia Commission for the Arts “Artist Fellowship in Music Composition” panel. He has been repeatedly published in Down Beat; JAZZed; Jazz Improv; Music, Inc.; The International Musician; The Instrumentalist; and the journals of NAfME, IAJE, ITA, American Orff-Schulwerk Association, Percussive Arts Society, Arts Midwest, Illinois Music Educators Association, and Illinois Association of School Boards. Previous to VCU, he served as Associate Professor and Coordinator of Combos at Northwestern University, where he taught jazz and integrated arts, was Jazz Coordinator for the National High School Music Institute, and for four years directed the Vocal Jazz Ensemble. Formerly the Coordinator of Jazz Studies at Northern Illinois University, he was selected by students and faculty there as the recipient of a 1992 “Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching” award and nominated as its candidate for 1992 CASE “U.S. Professor of the Year” (one of 434 nationwide). He was recipient of the VCU School of the Arts’ 2015 Faculty Award of Excellence for his teaching, research, and service. Visit his web site at <www.garciamusic.com>.

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