In the early 60's, my older brother introduced me to Blue Rondo a la Turk and Dave Brubeck. As a young beginner pianist, I copied the recording one note at a time until I had the entire 9/8 section "mastered". This was my intro to jazz.
Several years later, I had the opportunity to not only meet DB, record with him, and be a guest in his home. I saw the piano Time Out, was recorded on, the oils that were used as covers for Time Out, and Time Further Out, and the framed gold records on his walls. Needlesstosay, this experience was a major event in my life. DB has always been my mentor and always will be.
DB is heavy handed. That's his style. He's not Art Tatum, but who is? And who cares? He has made a huge contribution to jazz over the past 50+ years. Unlike many jazz musicians, DB has been a devoted father and husband. His strong religeous background and faith have been further demonstrated through his Oratorios, with their Biblical themes.
I prefer listening to George Shearing, Oscar Peterson, and Dave McKenna but in many ways,in my opinion, Brubeck is the still best.