The Dave Brubeck Quartet | Time Out (Columbia)

cd_dave-brubeck.jpgTime Out included "Take Five," the first jazz single to sell more than a million copies.







With the 40th anniversary of the moon landing there’s been a lot of navel gazing about the cultural significance of 1969: Broadway Joe Namath led the underdog New York Jets to victory in the Super Bowl; Led Zeppelin released their first album: Richard Nixon was sworn in as the 38th President of the United States; the Beatles gave their last public concert from the roof of Apple Records…and that’s just in January.

For American jazz, 1959 may have been an even more important year. Among other things, John Coltrane released Giant Steps, the first album based entirely on his own compositions; Miles Davis recorded Kind of Blue, the best-selling jazz album of all time; Duke Ellington provided the Grammy-winning soundtrack for Otto Preminger’s film Anatomy of a Murder; and Dave Brubeck recorded the crossover album Time Out, which included "Take Five," the first jazz single to sell more than a million copies.

In honor of the 50th anniversary of Time Out, Columbia Records have rereleased the album in a legacy edition which includes the original album on CD, plus a second CD of the Dave Brubeck Quartet performing at the Newport Festival in 1961, 1963 and 1964 (all tracks previously unreleased), and a DVD including an interview with Brubeck and performance footage of the Dave Brubeck Quartet, a photo gallery, and an interactive piano lesson with Brubeck demonstrating "Three to Get Ready" (the interactive part allows you to view the lesson from four different camera positions). A 24-page liner booklet with an essay by Ted Gioia is included with the set.

The distinguishing characteristic of Time Out is the unusual time signatures used on many of its tracks: "Take Five" famously uses a 5/4 beat, "Blue Rondo à la Turk" switches between 9/8 (with subdivisions of 2+2+2+3, which Brubeck says he first heard from a Turkish street musician) and 4/4, and "Three to Get Ready" switches between 3/4 and 4/4. The material perfectly fits the clean, precise presentation of the Quartet: Dave Brubeck on piano, Paul Desmond on alto saxophone, Eugene Wright on double bass and Joe Morello on drums.

The second CD includes several standards ("St. Louis Blues," "Pennies from Heaven") and original material including "Waltz Limp," "Blue Rondo à la Turk" and "Take Five." The sound is excellent on both CDs and the tunes remain fresh and lively. This collection makes a very nice set for admirers of Brubeck and cool jazz. A | Sarah Boslaugh

RIYL: Gil Evans, Blues in Our Time, Sketches of Spain

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