Dave Brubeck Quartet this weekend. The quartet that formed a first impression of Modern Jazz on a lot of non-Jazz people in the formative period of the mid-late 1950s. And their success stretched into the mainstream with the pivotal Take 5 and Blue Rondo a-la Turk leading the way into the early 1960s. But Brubeck wasn’t an overnight sensation – his career went back to the late 1940s, at the starting point of Cool School Jazz, which Brubeck was considered a pioneer of the form, mostly from his early Classical training under French Composer Darius Milhaud, who introduced him to unusual time signatures and contrasting rhythms.
It was his pairing with Paul Desmond on sax that led to the Quartet and a path to success, starting in the early 1950s.
After leaving his label, Fantasy in favor of Columbia Records he recorded the now-legendary Time Out in 1959. Columbia was enthusiastic about the album, but almost didn’t issue it because it consisted of all original music and all with unusual time signatures. Fortunately they did, and Time Out became one of the most influential albums of the Modern Jazz period, which also contained Take Five and Blue Rondo a-la Turk. It became the first Jazz album to go Platinum and to sell over a million copies – with Take Five being on the first Jazz records to show up on Top-40 singles charts.
Needless to say, people discovering Dave Brubeck continue to this day – Time Out has been reissued continually throughout the years, in just about every format since. It continues to be an enduring classic, influencing and inspiring musicians ever since.
This concert, from one of the many European tours the Brubeck Quartet embarked on over the years, is that the famous Juan les Pins Jazz festival in Antibes, France – it was recorded by ORTF (Radio France at the time) on July 22, 1967.
Turn it up, relax and prepare yourself for the coming week – this one may come in handy later on.