It was a cool summer evening on June 8, 2011. There was an air of excitement among the capacity crowd at Manchester’s Southern Vermont Art Center, as the recent Dave Brubeck Quartet warmed up.
While the largely vintage crowd was a clear contrast from those at the old Newport Jazz Festival, the Potting Shed, or the Blue Note Jazz Club, the magic rolling off those keys brought back memories. It was as if we were back in the early sixties.
The audience responded with a Superbowl-first-down applause as “Take Five” began.
The appreciative audience reluctantly filed out after the last number. As a self-styled jazz buff, I was among the last to exit.
I waited by the stage door to get a close glimpse of this legend. As the door opened, and Dave began to negotiate the few steps down, with difficulty, one of his retinue called out to me, “Say, can you give us a hand here?” The next thing I knew, I was holding Dave’s arm, firmly, all 20 feet to his car. A simple enough act but one to live on in my memory of this incomparable, jazz giant.
Jeff Teitel, member of the Vermont Jazz Center board