The Dave Brubeck Quartet – Time Out – 3-disc Legacy Edition Set: Disc 1 – Orig. Time Out (1959); Disc 2 – Previously unreleased 8 Brubeck Quartet live at Newport sel., Disc 3 – DVD, 30 min. interview with Dave, Historic B&W footage of the Quartet on TV, Multi-angle piano lesson, animated photo gallery – Columbia/Legacy 88697 39852 2, 38:39, 54:19, 30:00 ***** [Release date: May 26, 09]:
(Dave Brubeck, piano; Paul Desmond, alto sax; Eugene Wright, bass; Joe Morello, drums)
This is one of three specially-reconfigured album sets celebrating Jazz’s Greatest Year – 1959. Columbia/Legacy has put together multi-disc reissue albums on Brubeck’s Time Out, Charles Mingus’ Mingus Ah Um & Mingus Dynasty, and Miles Davis’ Sketches of Spain. The Brubeck album is both a double-CD and a video DVD, whereas the other two are double-CD albums only. New liner notes and essays have been created for each one. Columbia’s well-known producer Teo Macero was involved in all three original projects, and the liner notes for the Brubeck set were written especially for his edition by jazz author Ted Gioia.
Time Out, which featured the path-breaking non-traditional-rhythm number Take Five, was at first skoffed at by the Columbia executives, but ending up being the first jazz LP to sell a million copies, and Take Five stayed on the jazz charts for more than three years. The album has been reissued many times, including as a special Columbia audiophile CD and as both stereo and multichannel SACDs. The first CD sports excellent sonics, having been just remastered for the first time since 1997. The second CD will greatly interest many Brubeck fans, because all eight tracks have never before been released. They were recorded at various Newport Jazz Festivals in 1961, ’63 and ’64 and show the support of the excited crowed and the way the quartet wasn’t afraid to depart from the same old same old in their most-requested hits. Their closing Take Five from Newport, for example, runs almost two minutes longer than the original 1959 version, due to extended solos.
Time Out changed American music in many ways and led to all sorts of experimentation with time signatures (of which Don Ellis was one of the major practitioners). But none of it is studied, academic stuff – it’s all performed in the spirit of great fun and thus provides great listening. The details in both the notes and in Dave’s track-by-track explanations in the video are quite fascinating. For example, Kathy’s Waltz – written for his young daughter at the time – was a Columbia typo; it should have been titled Cathy’s Waltz. Desmond wasn’t too hot on the time signature experimentation – he liked the tried and true and was hesitant to try new things.
The interactive piano lesson by Dave, with angles changeable at the push of the angle button on your remote – including directly overhead of the keyboard – is instructive and fun. The Photo Gallery is not like your usual slide show of stills, but moves the images – often in sync with the music – in interesting ways.
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
1. St. Louis Blues (1961)
2. Waltz Limp (1963)
3. Since Love Had It’s Way (1963)
4. Koto Song (1964)
5. Pennies From Heaven (1961)
6. You Go To My Head (1964)
7. Blue Rondo A La Turk (1961)
8. Take Five (1964)
Disc: 3 (DVD)
1. 30 min. previously-unreleased documentary; piano lesson, stills gallery
— John Henry