Customer Reviews: Time Out
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on May 29, 2003
When I heard that Sony remastered this CD, I immediately grabbed myself a copy. Dave Brubeck's "Time Out" isn't just a great album; it also gives me fond childhood memories from when I first listened to this recording as a toddler. At the risk of recycling a cliche, it's one of those vital albums that transcends musical boundaries, and it's accessible to the masses while also remaining cutting edge. Producer Teo Macero, who is also responsible for some of Miles Davis' most essential recordings, brings out the very best in each of the players on this record. In my opinion, the very heart of this 1959 release is the exceptional "Take Five." The dynamic interaction between Brubeck's piano and Paul Desmond's expressive saxophone makes this one of the most unforgettable and powerful pieces of jazz ever played on a vinyl record. Other album cuts like "Three to Get Ready" and "Blue Rondo a la Turk" are timeless pieces that are so effortlessly graceful they seem to walk on water. Along with Miles' "Kind of Blue" and Coltrane's "A Love Supreme," Brubeck's "Time Out" is one of THE essential jazz recordings to own. It's a 100% risk-free purchase; even more so with the newly repackaged and remastered edition. But don't just take my word for it. "Time Out" is an experience that has to be heard to be believed.
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Two discs 38 and 54 minutes each approximately. The sound is immediate with good separation between the piano,which is crisp,the alto sax which is light and airy,and the rhythm section,which has a good deep end to it's sound. The booklet has a number of photographs of the band and gives the background on this (at the time) monumental release. The DVD is approximately 30 minutes in length,on the making of the album,interview with Brubeck and other footage.

Anyone with even a passing interest in jazz will have heard either "Take Five",or this entire album. It's certainly one of the best selling albums in the jazz field,and shows no indication of slowing down anytime soon.

What makes this release something to purchase is the entire second cd,which is THE DAVE BRUBECK QUARTET LIVE AT NEWPORT,1961,1963 and 1964,with the same personnel who played on the original studio album. This disc contains the usual "hits" then popular from this group,along with several other tracks. Live this group sounds a bit more alive,and not quite as academic as they sometimes tend to sound on studio recordings. Live,this music will put a smile on your face and set your foot to tapping. And that's what this album is all about-great jazz played with style and fine musicianship,yet it still has that cool,yet "good-time" feel. This album so caught the public's attention,because of a couple of popular tunes,that much of the sophisticated arranging and playing was missed by listeners. At the time the rhythm patterns in most of the compositions were very advanced-not many had played jazz in the time signatures that Brubeck and his group did on this album. For those who like this album,the extra disc is certainly worth owning. Not only will you have one of the best,most popular jazz albums of all time,you'll also have some very fine live jazz,which makes this release the one to own.
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on November 18, 1998
I work in the seafood business. We have a saying in the indrustry that states: " Shrimp is the seafood for people who don't like fish." Dave Brubeck's "Time Out" is the shrimp of jazz. From the booming intensity of "Blue Rondo A La Turk" to the melodic sweetness of "Strange Meadow Lark," one cannot even tell that the album is an exercise in unusual time signatures. But it is. Most jazz is in "common" or 4/4 time, which means four beats to a measure. "Time Out" explores alternative time signatures such as 5/4, "Take Five", 9/8, "Blue Rondo A La Turk", and 6/4, "Pick Up Sticks". I was exposed to this album by my father, who played it more than any other album he had; he had a collection of more than 1000 records,including Garner, Getz, Waller, Goodman, Kenton, Jamal, and of course, every Brubeck "album" (we don't call them those anymore, do we?) available at the time. For a first time jazz listener, I would recommend this recording highly. The piano, bass, saxophone, and drums work together in a way that only Brubeck has been able to orchestrate. Joe Morello's drum solo in "Take Five" is the best since Gene Krupa in Benny Goodman's "Sing, Sing, Sing". Morello tunes his drums to approximate the notes of the melody. Paul Desmond's sax is at its playful best. His work on "Strange Meadow Lark" is both wistful and sexy. "Take Five", his own composition, was the first jazz record ever to sell a million copies. Listen carefully to Gene Wright's bass lines. Like a compass, they guide us through the treacherous terrains of Brubeck's bombastic blasts and Desmond's delightful designs. All in all, the best, most accessible jazz album ever. '
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on January 28, 2002
"Time Out" is by far my favorite jazz album of all time. I never get tired of hearing it. It would definitely make my list of desert island discs. I also dig the painting which serves as the album cover. The superb pianist Dave Brubeck is the nominal leader of the group, frantically kicking off the opening classic track "Blue Rondo A La Turk." Drummer Joe Morello amazingly keeps perfect time during all of the tempo shifts. He particularly shines on the appropriately named tune "Pick Up Sticks." Saxophonist Paul Desmond takes center stage on the most famous track of all, "Take Five." This song has rightfully taken its place among the greatest instrumentals of all time. Rounding out the quartet, Eugene Wright's bass deftly anchors the beat on the melodic "Kathy's Waltz." The song "Everybody's Jumpin'" would be right at home on an album of sophisticated swing music. I'm no jazz expert who can expound on exotic time signatures, but I know what I like. I love "Time Out" by the Dave Brubeck Quartet!
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on June 11, 2011
The extra CD (CD2) featuring previously unreleased music recorded at the Newport Jazz Festivals in 1961, 1963, and 1964 are a great addition to the Brubeck canon, and the DVD containing an interview with Dave Brubeck, a video of a live performance, and other goodies, is a great bonus as well, but when speaking solely of the sonics of the core album, i.e., CD1 of this release, the "Legacy Edition" pales in audio quality compared to the previous release (Columbia/Legacy CK 65122, UPC 7464-65122-2, 1997). The aforementioned previous release, though not explicitly credited, was mastered using the HDCD (High Definition Compatible Disc, totally compatible with all 'standard' CD players) technology and it blows away the "Legacy Edition." Owning both, I can say that the previous (HDCD) release has an airiness, broadened soundstage, rich sound, and overall definition that when compared to the "Legacy Edition," makes the latter sound muffled, like a curtain of gauze exists between the listener and the performance. If the sound quality of the original album is of prime interest, seek out the earlier release instead of the "Legacy Edition." If average quality sound are good enough, then the "Legacy Edition" is a bargain. But if you're like me, and want BOTH the audio quality AND the extra goodies, you'll just have to break down and buy both.
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"Time Out -50th Anniversary Legacy Edition"
(Sony-BMG Legacy, 2009)
Dave Brubeck's landmark 1959 album, "Time Out," is perhaps the defining record of the so-called West Coast jazz sound, a playful, dynamic set that concentrates on melody and formal composition over muscularity and improv, and (for many) a welcome step back from the aggressive hurly-burly of the more macho bebop and post-bop scenes. Even though it was an experimental concept album -- toying with unusual time signatures -- it's a comfortable, comforting record, best remembered for the hit song "Take Five," but also packed with other melodic delights such as "Three To Get Ready" and "Blue Rondo A La Turk," all of which show the brilliant interplay of Brubeck and saxophonist-composer Paul Desmond, bassist Eugene Wright and drummer Joe Morello.

Over the years, I've gathered many copies of this delightful album. I accidentally acquired three copies on vinyl (it's so pretty!) and likewise, bought two copies on CD before I knew what had happened. And now comes this 3-disc Legacy edition, which includes the original album along with a second disc of lively performances from the 1961-64 Newport Jazz festivals (familiar songs given added live oompf) and a third disc that has the music on DVD, along with a modest but illuminating documentary in which Brubeck reminisces about the making of the "Take Five" album and its impact on his career.

In the short film, which was shot in 2003, Brubeck takes goodnatured pot-shots at the late Paul Desmond (with whom he frequently bickered about musical ideas) and recalls the chilly reception that the record met with at Columbia Records: the company's president, Goddard Lieberson, was its sole champion, and "Take Five" wasn't even released as a single until after jazz DJs made it popular on their shows(!) Brubeck also discusses the inspirations he found for various songs, from nature and from other cultures (as in the case of "Blue Rondo A La Turk") and even sits down at the piano to show that age 83, he's still got serious chops. He's a charming old fellow, full of humor and life, and this set is a nice expansion of the legacy he, and this album, have left for the world. (DJ Joe Sixpack, Slipcue Music Guide)
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on March 1, 1999
When the inimitable Dave Brubeck Quartet went into the studio in the summer of 1959, they created a timeless, monumental message in jazz. Nearly everyone, jazz fan or not, has heard the classic "Take Five", the only Paul Desmond composition on the album. It feautures teriffic solos from Desmond on his dreamy, wistful alto. Brubeck takes a backseat on this piece to allow drummer Joe Morello to play a stunning, brilliant solo. The remaining tracks on the album are equally strong. The driving, insistent rythym of "Blue Rondo A La Turk" nearly knocked me out of my chair at first listen. The magnificent "Strange Meadow Lark" is both Brubeck and Desmond at their definiitive best. The rest of the album is a sheer delight, untouched by the fourty years that have passed. DBQ didn't expect their seminal foray into exotic and rare time signatures to be a success. However, one note of one song on this album will tell you why that happened.
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on July 26, 2002
In 1960, the Dave Brubeck Quartet (Dave Brubeck on piano, Paul Desmond on alto sax, Eugene Wright on bass, and Joe Morello on drums) released the classic "Time Out" album. This album consists of experimentations with odd time signatures, and it results in one of the best and most unique jazz albums ever made. The whole album is amazing, but I think the first three tracks are the best.
"Blue Rondo A La Turk" kicks off the album with a pulsating 9/8 melody. It builds in intensity and then all of a sudden explodes into a 4/4 F blues as Paul Desmond solos with his cool alto tone. Following Desmond, Brubeck adds his own highly memorable solo. It's bluesy and cool at first, then he adds his trademark block chords to end the solo.
"Strange Meadow Lark" is a beautiful track. Brubeck plays the melody solo on piano, and his playing of this song is like a dream. The rest of the band kicks in for Desmond's solo which seems to breeze by; it compliments the beauty of this song well. Brubeck follows and adds his own memorable solo as the song returns to Brubeck playing solo piano.
"Take Five", the third track, is the Quartet's most famous song, as it was the first jazz instrumental to reach number one. It is in 5/4 time, and Brubeck strictly plays a constant vamp so the rest of the band doesn't lose their place while soloing. Desmond plays the cool, soothing melody and solos well, but the standout solo here is drummer Joe Morello's. I believe Morello is one of the best jazz drummers of all time, and while he does better solos than the one on "Take Five", his "Take Five" solo is awesome, as he manages to keep in 5/4 time and still deliver a superb drum solo.
The rest of the album seems to go downhill from these three tracks, but still remains a superb album. "Three To Get Ready" is one of the most interesting songs Brubeck ever made. Its metric pattern is: 2 meters of 3/4, 2 meters of 4/4. Brubeck and Desmond alternate playing the melody while the other one solos, and it is very interesting to see the two interact with each other.
Both "Kathy's Waltz" and "Everybody's Jumpin'" feature impressive solos and catchy melodies, but "Pick Up Sticks" is an awesome melody and a Hell of a way to finish off one of the best jazz albums I have heard. Brubeck plays a rivetting solo after Desmond's cool floating alto sax solo.
This album is an experimentation with odd time signatures, and the results were superb. And the amazing thing is that the Dave Brubeck Quartet swingings just as naturally with 3/4 or 5/4 or 9/8 as jazz musicians do with 4/4 or 6/8. The experimentation and originality of this album make it essential for all jazz fans. It seal Brubeck's place in jazz history and laid the groundwork that the Quartet would use to develop even more amazing solos. Indeed, the Quartet was just beginning to entertain.
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VINE VOICEon May 26, 2009
I agree with the other very well written review...
it IS one of the classic Jazz albums of all time with major cross over appeal and on top of it we get a stunning compliment of unreleased LIVE versions and a skimpy yet fun DVD with interview and why 4 stars?
As I said...I agree with the fellow from San Diego...the sound is very well presented ,particularly for a 50 year old recording, the repertoire is classic and there is bonus material....all for about 20 bucks...WOW...I say 5 stars all the way. The couple of DVDs available of the classic quartet are also worth owning and highly recommended..Paul Desmond was a one off player in my book.
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on December 14, 2000
"it was never supposed to be a hit" says Paul Desmond of "Take five", the number penned by himself on this album. His statement was perhaps representative of this album.
Recorded by the Dave Brubeck quartet in 1959, consisting of Dave Brubeck (piano), Paul Desmond (alto sax), Eugene Wright (bass) and Joe Morello (drums), this aptly titled album explores the use of odd time signatures not commonly used in jazz, much less western music. Influenced by music from their travels in the Middle East and India, the quartet attempts to incorporate much of the rhythms into this album. Their effort resulted in this landmark work.
"Blue Rondo a la Turk", with its 9/8 transitioning to 4/4 straight ahead blues in block chords and back again to 9/8 starts off with the frenzied feel of a whirling dervish with a rather odd bridge into a laid back blues and back again.
"Take Five" by Paul Desmond swings with such ease that the 5/4 feel is barely felt. Witness people tapping their fingers to the odd time signature as though they have been hearing it all their lives. Joe Morello throws down some virtusotic solos in this challenging 5/4 time.
Unfortunately, the popularity of these two songs eclipses the beauty of the experimental feel of the rest of the album. "Kathy's waltz" in 4/4 transitioning to 6/4, while not odd time signatures by jazz standards certainly is unusual for its transition in those days.
The album has stood the test of time and curiously enough, it is the 2 songs which were stylistically the most adventurous which are remembered.
The body of work seems somewhat constrained to the swing jazz idiom. Perhaps this is understandable with the emergence of west coast cool and the era of Miles Davis, and Stan Kenton et al. It is only with the advent of electric instruments and the Mahavishnu Orchestra which were able to further push the envelope of the odd time signature a notch further.
All in all, a Jazz album must have.
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