Dave Brubeck died yesterday. Spouse sent me a text that just said: Terrible news. Dave Brubeck died. I was at work and immediately shut my office door and burst into tears. I can honestly say that in all my years, I’ve never once been so upset about a celebrity death, but this was different. He was by far one of my favorite musicians, and I even had the privilege of seeing him perform twice.

I spent most of my formative years and early adulthood studying music, specifically piano. His technical prowess, creativity, and spark were a huge inspiration to me as a young musician. He made it cool to care about off-standard meters, world music, and orchestration. In addition, he was just a good person. He was a person of good character who avoided all the other vices and pitfalls that struck down other jazz greats long before their time. He was a devoted husband and father (70 years of marriage and 5 children). He gave a lot of his time and effort to good causes, and was a person of faith who was never self-righteous or sanctimonious.

The world has lost a great person and a legendary musician. Rest in peace, Dave. Maybe you can teach the angels a bit about 7/4.