Wednesday, May 24, 2006

23. Dave Brubeck - Time Out (1959)

Track Listing

1. Blue Rondo A La Turk
2. Strange Meadow Lark
3. Take Five
4. Three To Get Ready
5. Kathy's Waltz
6. Everybody's Jumpin'
7. Pick Up Sticks


Okay, yes, it is overplayed. Take Five is almost a cliche of what Jazz music is. But it is that for good reason. It is a great album and Take Five is a great track. Still, It is not the only good one; as good, or I would argue, even better is Blue Rondo A La Turk. Ok, if you are a jazz freak you will now be rolling your eyes. But the only reason you will be doing that is the fact that this album had crossover success. And Jazz lovers love the elite pursuits. So it is an album more popular with the general public than with the experts. As AllMusic says about it, it is a good album in spite of the people who like it. You know, Islington Guardian readers, or where I live Didsbury people.

And although you might listen to it while sipping on some crap SOAVE followed by Katie Melua or some such shit - although I'd hit her - do give it careful listening. Interestingly the track Kathy's Waltz kind of predicts All My Loving from the Beatles.. if you don't believe me, listen closely to it and there is a piano solo... well you'll see.

So yeah, it's good, and a lot of fun. Definitely not as good as Kind of Blue or many many other Jazz albums, still it is not fair that it has been so maligned. It is an essential album for anyone's collection, it is innovative in the way it plays with timing etc.. But again that is not what concerns me. What I care about is the fact that it can be at the same time both cerebral and a very enjoyable. Nevertheless some songs in the album don't seem to be as appealing as others, as Pick Up Sticks for example.

So yeah, listen to it. And stream it from Napster or buy it at Amazon US or UK

Track Highlights

1. Blue Rondo A La Turk
2. Take Five
3. Strange Meadow Lark
4. Kathy's Song

Final Grade



The tech bits from Wikipedia:

Although the theme (and the title) of the album is non-Common-time signatures, things aren't quite as simple as that. Blue Rondo à la Turk starts in 9/8 (the rhythm of the Turkish zeybek, equivalent of the Greek zeibekiko), but alternates with 4/4, while Strange Meadow Lark is too flexible to be pinned down to a particular time signature, though there are hints of waltz time. Take Five (originally intended primarily to show off Joe Morello's drum solo, according to Desmond) is in 5/4 throughout, but after its waltz-time beginning Three to Get Ready alternates between 3/4 and 4/4, settling down to two bars of one followed by two of the other. Moreover, Kathy's Waltz (misspelt, as Brubeck's daughter, for whom it was named, was Cathy) starts in 4/4, and only later switches to double-waltz time, before merging the two. Everybody's Jumpin' is mainly in a very flexible 6/4, while Pick Up Sticks firms that up into a clear and steady 6/4.

Blue Rondo A La Turk is not a sexual practice.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Why do people hate this album so much anyway? I don't understand it because Dave Brubeck was one of the few jazz musicians (of that time) who took liberties with time signatures.