DAVE BRUBECK — Time Out

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DAVE BRUBECK - Time Out cover
4.55 | 55 ratings | 5 reviews
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Album · 1959

Filed under Cool Jazz
By DAVE BRUBECK

Tracklist

A1 Blue Rondo A La Turk
A2 Strange Meadow Lark
A3 Take Five
B1 Three To Get Ready
B2 Kathy's Waltz
B3 Everybody's Jumpin'
B4 Pick Up Sticks

Total Time 38:21

Line-up/Musicians

- Dave Brubeck / piano
- Paul Desmond / alto sax
- Eugene Wright / double bass
- Joe Morello / drums

About this release

Columbia ‎– CS 8192(US)

Thanks to kazuhiro for the addition and snobb for the updates

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DAVE BRUBECK TIME OUT reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

Chicapah
I confess. I’m bonkers for Brubeck. It’s probably a good thing that I don’t have very many of his albums because I’d be listening to his music way too often and that would hinder me from discovering and learning about other artists. But when I put on a record like his “Impressions of New York” every muscle in my body relaxes, my mind clears and I bathe in a brand of jazz music that goes right to my very soul. He is a giant among titans and deserves every accolade that has ever been tossed his way. And the quartet he put together in the 50s has to be ranked with one of the greatest of all time. I offer the incredible “Time Out” as proof.

1959 is acknowledged as a watershed year for our preferred genre. While it’s true that the American public was still enamored with light pop ditties such as Frankie Avalon’s “Venus,” Paul Anka’s “Lonely Boy” and Johnny Preston’s novelty item “Running Bear” in the jazz world Miles Davis released the game-changing “Kind of Blue,” John Coltrane put out his stunning “Giant Steps” and Ornette Coleman shook the place up with his “Shape of Jazz to Come” LP. And, on December 14th of that crucial year, Dave and his cohorts put the cherry on the sundae with “Time Out.” It was a record that specialized in utilizing unorthodox time signatures and featured a racially integrated group causing Columbia Records to entertain some worry but, perhaps due to the stir aroused by the aforementioned vinyl discs, they decided to let the public decide what they were ready to hear and the result was astonishingly positive. They weren’t just ready for it; they ate it up like chocolate cake.

Dave and his bunch couldn’t have opened with a more sublime tune than “Blue Rondo A La Turk.” Despite its playful 9/8 pattern this song’s infectiousness made common folk realize that jazz could retain its complexity without being discordant, weird or off-putting. The great Paul Desmond’s saxophone tone is like rich butter and Brubeck’s piano work is sly as a fox. I could play this number for a person who’d never heard a lick of jazz in his life with full confidence that they would be intrigued. “Strange Meadow Lark” begins as a gorgeous, flowing piano piece that entrances for over two minutes before Eugene Wright on double bass and Joe Morello on the drums enter to lay down a seamless shuffle as Paul takes over on sax and paints an impressionistic scene with deep pastel colorings. But this is, after all, Brubeck’s baby and he eventually guides it deftly to a graceful ending.

Is there a more iconic jazz tune than “Take Five”? I doubt it. It may have equals in worldwide familiarity but no superiors. Simply put, it has one of the most recognizable jazz melodies ever conceived and this magical gem from the mind of Paul Desmond hasn’t lost an iota of its charm and seductive nature in well over half a century. The fact that it rose to #25 on the pop singles charts will tell you volumes about what it did to make jazz even more palatable to the masses. And Morello’s inventive drum solo is one for the ages. “Three to Get Ready” is next and its clever abutment of 6/4 and 8/4 measures is remarkable because they made it sound as natural as a thankful sigh. I’m fascinated by how Dave and Paul inject their individual personalities into their performances as the tight rhythm section holds the track together expertly. The melodic structure of the number is rapturous.

A smooth-as-silk groove draws you into “Kathy’s Waltz,” and then the band crosses over into a sultry 3/4 feel for Brubeck and Desmond’s rides to cruise atop. Dave’s basic piano theme disguises the immense depth that this song possesses. “Everybody’s Jumpin’” follows and it’s the most aggressive tune on the record. They create tension through the use of staccato phrasing and then bridge the contrasting sections together with a friendly, swinging shuffle beat. If you don’t know how much of a master of dynamics Joe Morello was on the trap kit then give this cut a listen and you’ll get educated post haste. The quartet walks with long strides through the closer, “Pick Up Sticks.” I find it enthralling to hear how Dave and Paul so consistently complimented each other’s styles without ever being at odds. And, as an added treat, the song has one of the more unusual and yet cool endings you’ll ever come across in jazzland.

“Time Out” is a masterpiece of modern jazz. It’s intellectual yet personable. It’s challenging while putting you completely at ease. It’s unquestionably unique and what it did for jazz music in general can’t be calculated. (Not to mention the striking cover art by S. Neil Fujita that altered forevermore the status quo in the area of how to market this kind of music visually and grab the attention of the average Joseph.) While it took some time to integrate itself into the mainstream this record was not to be denied and peaked at #2 on the album charts in 1961. Planet-wise it has sold well over a million units and several of its themes continue to be heard often no matter what direction popular music takes. Dave Brubeck deserves your respect and you owe it to yourself to investigate his genius. I can think of no better place to start than with “Time Out.”
dreadpirateroberts
A Cool Jazz classic. Not a five star album for me, but that's more of a personal thing rather than a reflection on the quality of the recording, composing or playing. All of which are superb.

'Time Out' is a giant album, pushed up to number two on the pop charts at the time of its release by the Desmond hit, 'Take Five' one of the most iconic and instantly recognisable pieces of jazz music in history. Fans of the Cool genre ought to at least hear this album, if not for the beautiful 'Strange Meadowlark' or 'Three to Get Ready' then for the oddly satisfying 'Blue Rondo a la Turk' with it's 9/8 head and swinging middle. (And swing is something the band does with both sophistication and melody, at the same time remaining quite inventive - for the most part during the first thirty minutes, this inventiveness only dipping with the last two pieces.)

While 'Take Five' is cool indeed, this recording is eclipsed by various live versions of the piece, when the tempo is increased and Brubeck and Desmond are given more room to improvise and solo. It's hardly a low point on 'Time Out.' It's still fantastic, but hear the six-plus minutes version from the Sony Essential Jazz release and you'll see what I mean.

Probably the most impressive thing about this album is how relaxed and easy Brubeck's band make it sound, all the while running wild between mixed up structures and shifting time signatures - rather than long soloing over more unchanging rhythms, everyone is moving and changing together. Brubeck is especially soothing throughout, dissonance is no-where to be heard here. His lovely solo-introduction to 'Strange Meadowlark' (the stand out piece) is only matched by his attentive rhythm playing. Instead of the internal tension that can be found in some fusion (which certainly builds excitement), this album, like so much cool jazz, is (unsurprisingly) about complimentary work.

Across the album as a whole, there isn't any chance of the band straying to anything close to an explosion of hard bop (understandable on a 'cool' recording) but being a quartet of drums, bass, piano and sax, it doesn't have the wider tonal palette available if say, a trumpet or some other fifth (lead) voice was introduced. This is a minor quibble for me, but sometimes Desmond's phrasing is so distinctive (and sweet perhaps) that it becomes predictable to my ears, which may also be a reflection of the amount of times I've heard it.

Probably the perfect, if obvious, place to start with Brubeck, and because it's such a contrast to the at-times brooding 'Kind of Blue,' maybe not a bad introduction to the Cool genre either.

Members reviews

aglasshouse
The devil's jazz.

Why such a name? Well originally when Dave Brubeck was going to release this little album Columbia was against it. The album was quite experimental for the time, featuring some wacky time signatures that weren't exactly common such as 5/4 or 6/4. It was released nonetheless to some criticism of Brubeck's work and accusations that he had tampered with the jazz scene. Looking back though it is one of the best jazz albums ever recorded. Though it features a small tracklist, Time Out takes advantage of it's mere seven tracks to dole out some of NYC's coolest jazz of the fifties. The album was recorded in the time considered to be the "classic quartet lineup" which lasted from 1958-1968 and features Joe Morello's aforementioned abstract time signatures. Brubeck himself does a good job at the piano as usual, but Desmond and Wright are the main reason that the music is as relaxed as it is. Perhaps the wildest the album gets is on 'Take Five', where the music really starts breaking the mold with one of my favorite songs played in minor ever. Unsurprisingly, the song became somewhat of a landmark on late fifties jazz. In conclusion, Time Out is a legendary album that anyone calling themselves music aficionados should buy and cherish forever.
moodyxadi
After many hesitations I finally took courage and tried to listen to something out of my prog/hard rock comfort zone. Almost by chance it was Time Out the jazz work that I chose to listen (it was the cheaper where I bought it). Of course there was a huge increment by The Nice take on Rondo but I was delighted to notice that the original piece was as good as its rocking version - actually better, I acknowledge silently to myself.

And the album flows so... nicely! I won't and can't take a track by track analysis here, just express my unreserved thanks to Dave Brubeck for widening my musical universe. I can't think of any presentation to jazz better than this album.
smartpatrol
Brubeck, Desmond, Wright, and Morello, the most famous lineup of Brubeck's quartet, all work together very well. They have made many apon many great albums, but this is my favorite. It's a concept album; each song is in an odd time signature. Each one is unique and just awesome. Morello and Wright provide a great rhythm, Brubeck provides the main melodies on the piano and leads the way for Desmond, who adds some wonderful saxophone solos, while also adding to Brubek's riffs. It's all awesome!

My favorite tracks from the album:

"Blue Rondo a la Turk" In "Turkish" 9/8 (One, two, one, two, one, two, one, two, three). Brubeck starts the album out with a great riff on the piano. Then the whole band joins in and expands on the riff. Then the band breaks into a 4/4 swing section where Desomnd does some beautiful soloing.

"Take Five" In 5/4 (one of my favorite time signatures). Probobly the quartet's most famous piece, and a staple of cool-jazz. The song is pretty much a showcase for Desmond's great solos, but also has a nice solo from Morello.

In conclusion, this is a great, five star album.

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