Take Five: By the Dave Brubeck Quartet

California’s Dave Brubeck was an impressive pianist and in the early 1950’s he teamed up with alto saxophonist Paul Desmond to begin a musical partnership that lasted many years. Like John Lewis’ MJQ, the Brubeck Quartet reached an audience far beyond those who had been captured by the genius of Charlie Parker.

In the early days of the 1950’s the Brubeck Quartet toured Universities and played some fine and original jazz.

Later, with a change of drummer, the Quartet branched out into jazz that was more ‘clever’ with unusual time signatures. This proved even more popular with the public though the music itself became shallow and occasionally novel. The best of these compositions and recordings was made in 1959. ‘Take Five’, a catchy Desmond melody in 5/4 time opened with Brubeck’s impeccable playing of a phrase in this unusual time and a good Desmond solo. The drum solo by the fussy Joe Morello goes on for too long but the piece has stood the test of time, is still popular and can rightly be called ‘timeless’ despite its emphasis on time. Enjoy!

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