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From Rolling Stone - Hank Shteamer ©
In honor of the pianist’s centennial, Brubeck Editions will issue Time OutTakes, an album featuring alternate versions of iconic 1959 tracks
“Take Five,” a 1959 track by the Dave Brubeck Quartet, was always a musical oddity: a swinging, instantly catchy jazz piece written in the uncommon time signature of 5/4. But it was also a huge hit and the first platinum-selling single in jazz history.
Roughly 61 years after the release of “Take Five” on Brubeck’s Time Out album, the late pianist’s estate will release TimeOutTakes, a new album of previously unreleased alternate versions of pieces from the iconic LP. Wednesday, in advance of Time OutTakes’ December release, Brubeck Editions is unveiling a never-before-heard early run-through of “Take Five,” streaming above.
On the alternate version, you can hear how the band is still acclimating to the feel of the piece’s 5/4 rhythm. They play the tune faster than on the familiar take and drummer Joe Morello hadn’t yet settled into the famously relaxed beat that made the five-beat structure feel so natural. You can also hear alto saxophonist Paul Desmond, who composed “Take Five,” getting used to improvising on the tune. In his drum solo, Morello sticks close to the rhythm of Brubeck’s “1, 2, 3; 1, 2” piano vamp, slowly building up density and excitement as he goes. Whereas on the final, Brubeck and bassist Eugene Wright play behind Morello’s feature, here the drummer takes the spotlight alone.
“It’s fascinating to hear on this track that the iconic drum beat wasn’t set yet and Joe Morello was playing a very syncopated Latin beat,” said multi-instrumentalist Chris Brubeck, one of the pianist’s sons and musical collaborators, in a release of the early “Take Five.” “Even alto saxophonist Paul Desmond had not yet settled on a consistent melody,” he added.