Dave Brubeck: Take Five
Dave Brubeck Quartet
Time Out (Columbia/Legacy CK 65122)
Composed by Paul Desmond.
Recorded: New York, July 1, 1959
Rating: 100/100 (learn more)
Columbia Records balked when Brubeck proposed an entire album in odd time signatures. Even Paul Desmond considered it "a dubious idea," but complied with Dave's request to write something in 5/4. Dave unified the two fragments Paul brought in and, keeping it simple, made the experiment fun. Assisted by Guinness (the beer, not the World Records), we determined that Dave plays a steady 2-chord vamp 162 times, even behind Joe Morello's unfettered drum solo. Released as an abbreviated single in 1961, "Take Five" became the first million-selling modern jazz hit, a landmark at the intersection between jazz and pop culture.
Reviewer: Alan Kurtz