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Dave Brubeck's Quotes

Dave Brubeck profile photo

Born: 1920-12-06
Profession: Musician
Nation: American
Biography of Dave Brubeck

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I started growing up in a hurry and taking a lot of the philosophy I'd heard from church as a kid a lot more seriously - especially the Ten Commandments - and wondering how 'Thou shalt not kill' could be so absolutely ignored. It took me until I was in my 40s to write what I was thinking as a young soldier.

Tags: Philosophy, Thinking, Young

I used to take my mother to Yosemite. When I turned 14, I got my driver's license, and that's where she'd want to go, so I'd go take her there for two weeks.

Tags: Her, Mother, She

I was always very aware of drummers. My oldest brother Henry was a drummer, and he drummed on everything in the house from the kitchen sink to stovepipes. He was the first drummer in the Gil Evans Orchestra, so you've got to know how great he was.

Tags: Brother, Great, House

If there's a deadline, I work late. If not, I like to have normal hours, and get up early and work. When things are going well, I hate to quit. And then I'll work 'till exhausted.

Tags: Hate, Late, Work

It's like a whole orchestra, the piano for me. And also it's to me the greatest instrument. I shouldn't say that, but I believe that this is the only instrument I can really feel happy about playing.

Tags: Greatest, Happy, Whole

Jazz is about freedom within discipline. Usually a dictatorship like in Russia and Germany will prevent jazz from being played because it just seemed to represent freedom, democracy and the United States.

Tags: Democracy, Freedom, Within

Jazz isn't dead yet. It's the underpinning of everything in this country. Whether it's a Broadway show, or fusion, or right on through classical music, if it's coming out of the U.S., it's not going to survive unless it's got some jazz influence.

Tags: Country, Dead, Music

Many people don't understand how disciplined you have to be to play jazz... And that is really the idea of democracy - freedom within the Constitution or discipline. You don't just get out there and do anything you want.

Tags: Democracy, Freedom, Understand

My dad was the manager at the 45,000-acre ranch, but he owned his own 1,200-acre ranch, and I owned four cattle that he gave to me when I graduated from grammar school, from the eighth grade. And those cows multiplied, and he kept track of them for years for me. And that was my herd.

Tags: Dad, Four, School

My mother Elizabeth Ivey Brubeck was a pianist who studied with Dame Myra Hess and Tobias Matthey. As a child in California I used to listen to her play Chopin.

Tags: Child, Her, Mother

That's the beauty of music. You can take a theme from a Bach sacred chorale and improvise. It doesn't make any difference where the theme comes from; the treatment of it can be jazz.

Tags: Beauty, Difference, Music

When you start out with goals - mine were to play polytonally and polyrhythmically - you never exhaust that. I started doing that in the 1940s. It's still a challenge to discover what can be done with just those two elements.

Tags: Challenge, Done, Start

There's a way of playing safe, there's a way of using tricks and there's the way I like to play which is dangerously where you're going to take a chance on making mistakes in order to create something you haven't created before.

Tags: Chance, Making, Mistakes

I'm beginning to understand myself. But it would have been great to be able to understand myself when I was 20 rather than when I was 82.

Tags: Able, Great, Understand

When I was 20, Shostakovich was my favorite composer. I still find his Fifth Symphony wonderful, with its outstanding themes and rhythms. That's the piece that made me want to be a classical composer.

Tags: Favorite, Piece, Wonderful

And there is a time where you can be beyond yourself. You can be better than your technique. You can be better than most of your usual ideas. And this is a whole other category that you can get into.

Tags: Time, Whole, Yourself

Jazz stands for freedom. It's supposed to be the voice of freedom: Get out there and improvise, and take chances, and don't be a perfectionist - leave that to the classical musicians.

Tags: Freedom, Leave, Musicians

Concord, California was a great place to grow up.

Tags: Great, Grow, Place

I had the first integrated Army band in World War II.

Tags: Army, Band, War

I knew even if I'm a cowboy, I'm going to be involved in jazz in some way.

Tags: Involved, Jazz, Knew

I wanted to be like my father, who was a cattle man and a rodeo roper. And that was - he was my hero, and I wanted to be more like him.

Tags: Father, Hero, Him

I'm always hoping for the nights that are inspired where you almost have an out of body experience.

Tags: Body, Experience, Inspired

If I told you all the people that have secretly told me I've influenced them, you'd never believe it, and you'll never see it in print, either.

Tags: Either, Influenced, Print
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It's like a whole orchestra, the piano for me.

Tags: Orchestra, Piano, Whole

My own Brubeck Institute in California is turning out fantastic young jazz players, and I know great things will happen.

Tags: Great, Happen, Young

The first choral music I remember hearing was Handel's 'Messiah' when the Mormon Tabernacle Choir broadcast it over the radio.

Tags: Music, Radio, Remember

The worst thing about the life of a jazz musician on the road is getting to the gig. Once you're there and playing, it's marvelous.

Tags: Getting, Life, Once

We don't know the power that's within our own bodies.

Tags: Bodies, Power, Within

What I want to happen is to be really creative, and to play something new in the improvisations, every time.

Tags: Creative, Happen, Time

When I was first aware that I couldn't read music I didn't know I couldn't read because I could play the music that was in front of me.

Tags: Front, Music, Read

When you hear Bach or Mozart, you hear perfection. Remember that Bach, Mozart and Beethoven were great improvisers. I can hear that in their music.

Tags: Great, Music, Remember

After the Second World War, I returned to California to study composition with Darius Milhaud, who wrote wonderful works like 'Le Boeuf sur le Toit' and 'La Cretion du Monde.' I especially enjoy his work for two pianos, 'Scaramouche.'

Tags: Enjoy, War, Work

Do you think Duke Ellington didn't listen to Debussy? Louis Armstrong loved opera, did you know that? Name me a jazz pianist who wasn't influenced by European music!

Tags: Listen, Loved, Music

I got a poster from Columbia Records, and there's Miles Davis, Charlie Mingus, Ellington, Count Basie - everybody in that poster has died, I'm the only one left. And great players like Paul Desmond and Gerry Mulligan, it's hard to believe they're gone because we were all so close. But I believe in the future and the tradition will go on.

Tags: Future, Great, Hard

I have more energy at the end than I do at the beginning. You can be so beat up that you can scarcely walk on stage but when you get to the piano the excitement kicks in, you forget about being tired.

Tags: End, Forget, Tired

I knew I wanted to write on religious themes when I was a GI in World War II. I saw and experienced so much violence that I thought I could express my outrage best with music.

Tags: Best, Music, War

I played a lot of sports and it's the plays in basketball that weren't worked out that are the ones that are just fantastic that you remember. We don't know the power that's within our own bodies.

Tags: Basketball, Power, Sports

In order for a man to be truly evil, he must be a woman.

Tags: Evil, Order, Woman

It's easy to idealize someone that you don't know.

Tags: Easy, Idealize, Someone

It's funny how most activists are pacifists.

Tags: Activists, Funny

Live every day as if it is your last, and you'll be correct sooner than you otherwise would be.

Tags: Correct, Last, Otherwise

My to-do list is so long that it doesn't have an end; it has an event horizon.

Tags: End, Event, List

Never question the relevance of truth, but always question the truth of relevance.

Tags: Question, Relevance, Truth

'Programming' is a four-letter word.

Tags: Word

Something is always simple until you try it.

Tags: Simple, Try, Until

Temporary solutions often become permanent problems.

Tags: Become, Often, Problems

The difference between being able to understand something and inventing it in the first place... is called genius.

Tags: Between, Place, Understand

The entire universe is working against me. I can't believe the entire universe could be that foolish!

Tags: Against, Universe, Working

The people who actually do things always suffer the slings and arrows of those who don't.

Tags: Actually, Arrows, Suffer

The world is real. Consciousness is the illusion.

Tags: Illusion, Real

Things always look better when you haven't seen them.

Tags: Seen

Think Tank, noun: The shower.

Tags: Noun, Shower, Tank

Time is a resource whose supply is inversely proportional to its demand.

Tags: Demand, Time, Whose

When anarchy is declared, the first thing we do, let's kill all the anarchists.

Tags: Anarchy

When trying to locate something, search your mind first.

Tags: Mind, Search, Trying

When you are finished with it, put it back in the first place that you looked for it.

Tags: Finished, Place, Put

When you talk to yourself, at least you know that someone is listening.

Tags: Someone, Talk, Yourself

Whoever invented double clicking should be shot in the head! Twice!

Tags: Head, Shot, Twice

I wonder if those people shown protesting the deployment of nuclear weapons to western Europe during the Reagan era are feeling appropriately stupid today. 'Please don't take away our precious Soviet Union! - We demand the annihilation of all life on Earth!'

Tags: Life, Stupid, Today

It's a bit odd that nobody seems to be using the correct technical term to describe organized Islamic terrorists. They are not a faction of a religion or a social movement. They are a cult. A suicide cult.

Tags: Nobody, Religion, Social

The only people I've ever heard saying that disagreeing with Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld is un-American or treasonous are people who disagree with Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld.

Tags: Disagree, Heard, Saying

Yeah, computers are going to take over the programming business because they have become so fast recently that they can solve the Halting Problem in five seconds flat.

Tags: Business, Computers, Problem

You usually have to wait for that which is worth waiting for.

Tags: Wait, Waiting, Worth

Why are people unemployed? Because there is no work. Why is there no work? Because people are not buying products and services. Why are people not buying products and services? Because they have no money. Why do people have no money? Because they are unemployed.

Tags: Money, Why, Work

It's hardware that makes a machine fast. It's software that makes a fast machine slow.

Tags: Computers, Fast, Makes

It's funny how social activists usually protest against the only things that have a credible chance of achieving the activists' goals.

Tags: Against, Chance, Funny

Silence is a statement that is open to gross misinterpretation.

Tags: Open, Silence, Statement

Never underestimate the power of a simple tool.

Tags: Power, Simple, Tool

The only thing that is obscene is censorship.

Tags: Censorship, Obscene

Geez, all that money we waste on space exploration; just think how many bombs that would buy!

Tags: Money, Space, Waste

Liberalism is financed by the dividends from Conservatism.

Tags: Dividends, Liberalism

Supermarket automatic doors open for me; therefore, I am.

Tags: Automatic, Doors, Open

Organizations like the ACLU fought and won the good fight back in the 1960's, but it's clear that nowadays they've run out of useful things to do since they now spend most of their time defending the scum of the Earth from getting what they rightly deserve.

Tags: Fight, Good, Time

If the shoe fits, it is probably worn out.

Tags: Fits, Shoe, Worn

Nothing surpasses the beauty and elegance of a bad idea.

Tags: Bad, Beauty, Idea

Now is the time for all good men to run like hell.

Tags: Good, Men, Time

The Thought Police: To censor and protect.

Tags: Police, Protect, Thought

When shooting in the dark, it is a good idea to use a machine gun.

Tags: Dark, Good, Idea

1 + 1 = 2. Everything else is derived.

Tags: Derived, Else

Anything on paper is obsolete!

Tags: Obsolete, Paper

Don't judge a book by its thickness either.

Tags: Book, Either, Judge

Don't trust anyone who has been in school for the past 24 consecutive years.

Tags: Past, School, Trust

Even IBM can't stand in the way of progress... for more than a decade.

Tags: Decade, Progress, Stand

Fighting a war on terrorism is like fighting against crime. We can never hope to eradicate crime, so we shouldn't bother fighting it.

Tags: Fighting, Hope, War

From each according to his ability, to each according to his ability.

Tags: Ability, According

I think; therefore, I am the center of the universe.

Tags: Center, Therefore, Universe

If I gave a damn what other people think of me, I would be more like other people.

Tags: Gave
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