Courtesy of Columbia/Legacy
The cover art to the studio recording of The Real Ambassadors.
On Tuesday, we got to meet Dave Brubeck.
He came by NPR's performance Studio 4A to tape a PBS special about his religious compositions, which have comprised much of his output in recent decades. (Yes, decades: the man is 88, you know.) While he was here, he also spoke with Michele Norris of All Things Considered about his smash hit "Take Five," which turns 50 this year.
While Brubeck was enjoying the success of "Take Five" — and the album Time Out, on which it appears — he and his wife were also working on another ambitious project: a jazz musical. They took their experiences from foreign tours as cultural emissaries of the U.S. State Department, and transformed them into The Real Ambassadors, starring such luminaries as Louis Armstrong, Carmen McRae and Lambert, Hendricks and Ross.
In a bit left out of the radio interview for time, he told Norris about touring the world and working with Satchmo. I've added a little music from the studio recording of The Real Ambassadors for illustration — have a listen:
In other news, Louis Armstrong: yup, still awesome.