Time Out – Dave Brubeck Quartet

Artist: Dave Brubeck Quartet


Genre: Cool Jazz

Grade: A

As impressed as I am by the complex time signatures (“Blue Rondo à la Turk” opens in 9/8!) and the sophisticated melodies (dig that quintuple meter!), the real impact of Dave Brubeck’s legendary Time Out lies in its ability to be less pretentious than it sounds. The Brubeck Quartet never set out to change jazz history; they merely got hot at the right time.

Sonically, the innovations of Time Out are timeless. “Take Five” somehow sounds fresher today than when it topped the charts back in 1959, while the breathtaking transition that occurs halfway through “Strange Meadow Lark” is truly one of the most exquisite moments in jazz history. Even though sophisto-jazz isn’t my usual cup of tea, Time Out is simply too well-performed and well-renowned to ignore completely.

But the truth is, it might not even be Brubeck’s best album. When it comes to jazz, I’ll always prefer improvisation over composition. Time Out is a lot of things — breezy, lightweight, entertaining and somewhat overrated. But it’ll never be Jazz at Oberlin.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s