The Dave Brubeck Quartet – Time Out
By 1959, the Dave Brubeck Quartet with Paul Desmond had been in existence for nearly a decade and it was highly popular among jazz audiences (the bass player and the drummer changed a few times until Joe Morello arrived in 1956 and Eugene Wright joined the group in 1958/59). They had begun playing in colleges, and slowly made their way into concert halls and jazz festivals. Brubeck appeared on the cover of Time magazine in 1954. He was only the second jazz musician to receive this distinction (Louis Armstrong was previously honored in 1949). The magazine s decision to select Brubeck was questioned by many black jazzmen like Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk, who rightly felt that they were more deserving of the honor. They believed that choosing Brubeck was a form of racism. Despite the possible overreaction of the press, the popularity of the Dave Brubeck Quartet was real, as was the singularity of their music. The formation took the challenge to experiment with musical forms foreign to jazz and, in addition to playing standard tunes like everyone else, they introduced many new compositions that gave the formation its identity. Most of the songs were composed by Brubeck himself, as can be seen on the album Time Out. However, one of the most catchy melodies on that album, Take Five , was a Paul Desmond composition, and it would become the quartet s most celebrated tune. While they had experimented, in one way or another, on many of their previous albums, none of them had such an ambitious concept as Time Out, which only presented tunes written in unusual time signatures. It was impossible to predict that such an unusual idea would lead to one of the best selling jazz albums of all time. The Quartet s previous albums had been popular, but none of them had achieved the success of Time Out.
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