I saw Dave Brubeck play, once. That's not that unusual; he performed pretty much right up until he died, earlier today, the day before his 92nd birthday. I was in high school, playing piano, trying to figure out what I wanted out of the instrument. I had been classically trained, and got tired of the constraints, of the tamped emotion, the lack of freedom. I had a year or so of jazz training, but I didn't much like playing standards, and I didn't like playing with other jazz kids, who in high school tend to play anonymous and masturbatory jazz-funk, almost exclusively. Pop music was what I loved, but the piano parts were all boring.