Darius Milhaud was an incredibly prolific (this is opus 205!) 20th century French composer with a penchant for polytonality and playfulness. My impression of playing his music is its beauty, and deceptive simplicity. It sounds pleasant and straightforward, but his music’s lilt comes from a rhythmic complexity that keep performers counting like mad. It’s like a walk through a field of lavender when someone keeps moving the field from under you.
His music comes up fairly often among a B list of composers, but his other legacy is his wide range of distinguished students, including Dave Brubeck, who died last year. He was influenced enough by Milhaud to name his first sone Darius. Student carried on his teacher’s playfulness and willingness to push the limits. Jazz in 5/8: