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Dave Brubeck: “Take Five” Live in Belgium (1964)

Yamaha Grand Piano

TODAY JAZZ PIANIST DAVE BRUBECK PASSES ONWARD, so this is my tribute to the man and his music; a music rich with different time signatures, odd metered passages, and tasty jazz piano riffs and arpeggios.

Dave Brubeck popularized jazz back in the 1960s. So, popular was his music that Take Five, the hit track from his album Time Out, was used in commercials and movies.

Alto-Sax man Paul Desmond was the actual composer of Take Five, but The Dave Brubeck Quartet immortalized it in a studio recording that is now legendary, and pivotal in moving Jazz music into the mainstream in a new way.

In this video (a vintage black and white clip) filmed live in Belgium in 1964, The Dave Brubeck Quartet is in fine form with its original members.

Dave Brubeck – piano
Paul Desmond – alto saxophone
Eugene Wright – bass
Joe Morello – drums

The tempo is much faster than the original studio recording, and although it seems a bit rushed, it works well. These are all great Jazz artists at the peak of their creativity and abilities.

Drummer Joe Morello’s drum solo is quite different from the recording. I personally like the originality and inventiveness of the recording, but this live version takes it to another level. Just the feat of doing an improvised drum solo in 5/4 time is quite the challenge, and to keep that swing feeling flowing is artistry at its best.

Rest in Peace, Dave…

Dave Brubeck, American Jazz Pianist. (December 6, 1920 – December 5, 2012)

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Randomguru is a musician and blogger living in San Diego.


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