Last night, Steph and I saw the Dave Brubeck’s Quartet at the UB Center for Performing Arts. The quartet consist of Buffalo’s own Bobby Militello on the alto sax and flute, Randy Jones on the drums and Michael Moore on the bass.
Click here for a review of the concert. In short, it was another brilliant Brubeck concert despite the fact that Dave is 87 years old. Although Militello’s sax was quite lively and overpowering in contrast to Paul Desmond of the “classic” Quartet, it was still vintage Brubeck. Most concert-goers all concluded the same thing…the hands on the piano were those of a young Dave Brubeck. Close your eyes…there was no way it was a frail elderly pianist past his prime. And of course his signature song, Take Five, concluded the evening. I don’t think there was one dry eye in the place.
For me, this was a defining moment. Dave Brubeck was my father’s favorite jazz musician. I have many of his albums and recently upgraded my collection to include a CD version of Time Out and the Dave Brubeck Live at Carnegie Hall. I have been listening to both on my way to and from work.
Although the right side CI has one setting mainly due to the twitching problem, the left side has a program specific for music. This means it is most sensitive and allows for the broadest frequency range. For that reason, the only time to listen is when its quiet and boy, what a difference in contrast to the hearing aid. Keep in mind, all the hearing aid does is amplify sound, limited to whatever frequencies my unassisted hearing was capable of. For me, that would be starting at 500 and slowly deteriorating before dropping off the chart at 4,000. The CI is a whole different animal and goes across ALL frequencies starting at 500 and continuing consistently up to 6,000.
The most noticeable sound of the evening was the drummer’s tapping the edge of the snare drum with his drum stick. This “music” was very different from when he hit the cymbals. With the hearing aid, it sound the same.
While watching the maestro work his magic across the keys, I could distinctively pick out the notes to a point where when I eventually closed my eyes and know exactly where Dave was on the piano. With the hearing aid, I was only able to hear the middle part of the piano.
I could hear (and I mean HEAR), the strumming of the bass. With the hearing aid, I basically had to press up against the speakers and “feel” the beat.
The sax was a whole different ballgame. As Militello “roller coasted” through the notes, it was very easy to pick out the “screech” from the “fog horn”. With the hearing aid, it was basically “toot your horn”.
The best part was being able to control the volumes to be as comfortable as possible while absorbing every note. The hearing aid would sound like it was cutting out if it got too loud. I wasn’t sure if this is by design or not but it was a reason why I didn’t go to many concerts especially loud rock.
This essentially brings me almost full circle with the cochlear implant. It’s as if one needs to wonder if this is really what music is suppose to sound like. And, it made it much more enjoyable especially from someone who I grew up listening to. When Take Five came on, it wasn’t as if it sound like “I was there”…it was…”I WAS THERE”. Bru’ was just awesome….man….just absolutely awesome!