Time Out

The album of the week is Time Out.

Time Out is a studio album by the American jazz group the Dave Brubeck Quartet, released in 1959 on Columbia Records. Recorded at Columbia’s 30th Street Studio in New York City. The album is a subtle blend of cool and West Coast jazz. It peaked at #2 on the Billboard pop albums chart, and has been certified platinum by the RIAA. The album was intended as an experiment using musical styles Brubeck discovered abroad while on a United States Department of State sponsored tour of Eurasia, such as when he observed in Turkey a group of street musicians performing a traditional Turkish folk song.

The album represents the beginning of the union beetweenn two musical personalities as pianist Dave Brubeck (“Many people don’t understand how disciplined you have to be to play jazz… And that is really the idea of democracy – freedom within the Constitution or discipline. You don’t just get out there and do anything you want.” ) and altosaxophonist Paul Desmond. It also became a symbol of the socalled “Third Stream” by the deifnition of composer Gunther Schuller. Schuller itself offered a list of “What Third Stream is not”:

  • It is not jazz with strings.
  • It is not jazz played on ‘classical’ instruments.
  • It is not classical music played by jazz players.
  • It is not inserting a bit of Ravel or Schoenberg between be-bop changes—nor the reverse.
  • It is not jazz in fugal form.
  • It is not a fugue played by jazz players.
  • It is not designed to do away with jazz or classical music; it is just another option amongst many for today’s creative musicians

On the condition that Brubeck’s group first record a conventional album of traditional songs of the American South, Gone with the Wind, Columbia president Goddard Lieberson took a chance to underwrite and release Time Out. It received negative reviews by critics upon its release. Despite this, it became one of the best-known and biggest-selling jazz albums, charting highly on the popular albums chart when 50,000 units sold for a jazz album was impressive. It produced a Top 40 hit single in “Take Five”, composed by Paul Desmond, and the one track not written by Dave Brubeck. In an article for The Independent, Spencer Leigh speculated that “Kathy’s Waltz” inspired the song “All My Loving”, written by Paul McCartney and performed by The Beatles, as they share similar rhythmic endings to the last phrases of their melodies.

Side A

  • Blue Rondo à la Turk – 6:44 (Dave Brubeck)
  • Strange Meadow Lark – 7:22 (Brubeck)
  • Take Five – 5:24 (Paul Desmond)

Side B

  • Three to Get Ready – 5:24 (Brubeck)
  • Kathy’s Waltz – 4:48 (Brubeck)
  • Everybody’s Jumpin’ – 4:23 (Brubeck)
  • Pick Up Sticks – 4:16 (Brubeck)


  • Dave Brubeck – Piano
  • Paul Desmond – Altosax
  • Eugene Wright – Doublebass
  • Joe Morello – Drumset


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