Paul desmond

The good boy of jazz: Dave Brubeck’s time has come round at last

On 8 November 1954, Dave Brubeck’s portrait appeared on the cover of Time magazine, accompanied by the words ‘The Joints are Really Flipping’. Inside, the pianist and leader of his own jazz quartet was variously described as ‘a wigging cat with a far-out wail’ and ‘way out on Cloud 7’, who when at college chatted up his future wife Iola with the immortal philosophical enquiry: ‘Tell me about this Plato cat.’ Yet Brubeck’s life and habits were far from the archetypal drug-fuelled, self-destructive behaviour the public had sometimes been led to expect from best-selling memoirs of that world, such as Mezz Mezzrow’s hugely entertaining sustained exercise in jive-speak, Really the