05 December 2012

"Take Five" - the Dave Brubeck Quartet, 1966


Brubeck at the piano, Paul Desmond on alto sax.

"Time Out" was probably the first jazz album I ever purchased, back in about 1962. I've embedded the signature piece ("Take Five") above, selecting a 1966 Berlin performance. There's also a 1972 version here.

The album, released in 1959, was revolutionary for its era because of the unusual times used in many of the pieces. Blue Rondo a la Turk (video here) "starts in 9/8 (the rhythm of the Turkish zeybek, equivalent of the Greek zeibekiko), but with the unorthodox subdivision pattern of 2+2+2+3 (the normal pattern for 9/8 is 3+3+3), and the saxophone and piano solos are in 4/4."

Reposted from 2009 to note the death announced today of Dave Brubeck, age 91. There's a nice biography of him at the StarTribune (and probably everywhere else today).

4 comments:

  1. This was my first jazz record too, although I didn't buy it until the late '60s. It was recommended to me by a jazz flautist with whom I had a brief but pleasant liaison when I was in my mid-20s.

    I knew nothing about jazz, and we'd sit for hours while he played his favorite jazz records--this album, along with those of Miles Davis, Ornette Coleman, and others--and called my attention to what was going on musically. I hadn't known how to listen to jazz, but I learned the basics with his expert coaching.

    Although I'll never be an aficionado, the ability to enjoy jazz on a simple level was a real gift for which I'll always be grateful to the dude. I'm tickled to be reminded of one of his teaching aids.

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  2. I guess when you say "normal" pattern you refer to "western rhythms". Because for turkish music 9/8 beat is almost always that 2+2+2+3 pattern -of course triple beat may be in any step of those four.

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  3. @duygu - that quote came from Wiki. To me, 2+2+2+3 is 9.

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  4. Sad to lose Dave. Now, only Eugene Wright (bassist) is left of the original quartet. We lost drummer Joe Morello recently, too. I'll never forget seeing the four of them in the 1970's when they regrouped for a while. I was a student drummer and got to help Joe put his kit away after the show. Always thought it was cool that I got to hold the cymbals and drums used in Take 5. They were true music pioneers, plus they were all such friendly fellows, too. RIP, Dave.

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