Virtually all serious and even casual music lovers ought to be familiar with, or at least are likely to have heard The Dave Brubeck Quartet, even without realizing it — for the quartet’s best-known hit “Take Five” has graced the soundtracks of multiple films, including “Mighty Aphrodite,” “Pleasantville” and “Constantine.” The piece is famous for its distinctive, catchy saxophone melody, as well as its use of unusual 5/4 time — so distinctive, it’s a rare jazz track that became a pop hit.
Including the monster hit “Take Five”, the Brubeck Quartet’s “Time Out” is a jazz and audiophile classic. Every album collection needs a copy.
The album was intended as an experiment using musical styles Brubeck discovered abroad while on a United States Department of State-sponsored tour of Eurasia. In Turkey, he observed a group of street musicians performing a traditional Turkish folk song that was played in 9/8 time, a rare meter for Western music. Paul Desmond, who was Brubeck’s alto saxophonist, wrote “Take Five“, at Brubeck’s urging to try and write a song in quintuple (5/4) time.
“Time Out” peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard pop albums chart and was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. “Take Five” became a mainstream hit, reaching No. 25 on the Billboard Hot 100, and No. 5 on Billboard’s Easy Listening survey, the precursor to today’s Adult Contemporary charts. The song was included in countless movies and television soundtracks and still receives significant radio play.
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