Time Out
Time Out

Time Out

The Dave Brubeck Quartet

By Michael S. Goldfarb

One of the most famous recordings in jazz, Time Out has been Dave Brubeck's bestselling album ever since it was first released in 1959. And it's easy to see why—this is very appealing music, simultaneously intellectually stimulating and emotionally moving, featuring an extraordinarily high caliber of musicianship.

The interplay between composer-pianist Brubeck and long-time Dave Brubeck Quartet members Paul Desmond (alto sax), Eugene Wright (bass), and Joe Morello (drums) is downright telepathic. These guys go far beyond the album's original gimmick—all the tunes are in unusual time signatures rather than standard 4/4—and find that musicality isn't about the mechanics of playing, but about expression.

All the solos (and for that matter, the supporting comping and rhythm) are brilliantly played and deeply felt. Paul Desmond's delicate, continually inventive sax playing contrasts beautifully with Brubeck's powerfully rhythmic block-chord piano work. At other times, Brubeck's solos are masterfully gentle, with an almost baroque feel.

"Blue Rondo a la Turk" starts the album off at a gallop and cooks relentlessly. If there's a recording that defines Beatnik Cool better than the mega-classic "Take Five", I haven't heard it. "Strange Meadowlark", "Three to Get Ready", and "Kathy's Waltz" are gorgeous. Actually, every tune is a gem. We're talkin' definitive cool jazz here!

As you'd expect, the sound quality is fantastic, and the CD booklet includes the original LP liner notes, recent commentary by Brubeck, and some great photos. Oddly, Sony hasn't come up with any bonus tracks for this release. It's the same as the original LP, a mere 39 minutes. But it's 39 magnificent minutes!

Simply put, Time Out is a timeless classic, a truly essential disc for both serious students of the music and anyone starting a jazz collection.

There's plenty of Brubeck in The MARKET!

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