Take Five

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"Take Five"
Single by The Dave Brubeck Quartet
from the album Time Out
ReleasedJune 30 1959, May 19, 1961 (Re-released)
Format7 Inch Record
Recorded1959
GenreJazz
Length5:28 (album version)
2:55 (single edit)
LabelColumbia Records
Writer(s)Paul Desmond
Producer(s)Teo Macero
 
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"Take Five"
Single by The Dave Brubeck Quartet
from the album Time Out
ReleasedJune 30 1959, May 19, 1961 (Re-released)
Format7 Inch Record
Recorded1959
GenreJazz
Length5:28 (album version)
2:55 (single edit)
LabelColumbia Records
Writer(s)Paul Desmond
Producer(s)Teo Macero

"Take Five" is a jazz piece composed by Paul Desmond and performed by The Dave Brubeck Quartet on their 1959 album Time Out. Recorded at Columbia Records' 30th Street Studio in New York City on July 1, 1959,[1] fully two years later it became an unlikely one-hit wonder and the best-selling jazz single of all time.[2] Written in the key of E-flat minor, it is famous for its distinctive two-chord[3] piano vamp; catchy blues-scale saxophone melody; imaginative, jolting drum solo;[4] and use of the unusual quintuple (5/4) time, from which its name is derived.[5] It was first played by the Quartet to a live audience at the Village Gate nightclub in New York City in 1959.

The inspiration for this style of music came during a U.S. State Department-sponsored tour of Eurasia. In Turkey, Brubeck observed a group of street musicians performing a traditional Turkish folk song with supposedly Bulgarian influence that was played in 9/8 time, a rare meter for Western music (traditionally called "Bulgarian meter"). After learning about the form from native symphony musicians, Brubeck was inspired to create an album that deviated from the usual 4/4 time of jazz and experimented in the more exotic styles he experienced abroad.[6]

While "Take Five" was not the first jazz composition to use the quintuple meter, it was one of the first in the United States to achieve mainstream significance.[citation needed] Released as a single initially on September 21, 1959, its chart potential was fulfilled only after its re-release in May 1961, reaching #25 on the Billboard Hot 100 on October 9 that year and #5 on Billboard's Easy Listening chart three weeks later.[7]

"Take Five" was re-recorded and performed live multiple times by The Dave Brubeck Quartet throughout the group's career. In addition, there have been many covers of the piece. Some versions also feature lyrics, including a 1961 recording with lyrics written by Dave Brubeck and his wife Iola, sung by Carmen McRae. Al Jarreau performed an unusual scat version of the song in Germany in 1976.

"Take Five" has been included in countless movies and television soundtracks, and still receives significant radio play. It was for several years during the early 60s the theme music for the NBC "Today" program, the opening bars playing half a dozen times and more each day.

Upon his death in 1977, Desmond left the rights to royalties for performances and compositions, including "Take Five", to the American Red Cross, which has since received combined royalties of approximately $100,000 per year.[8]

Personnel[edit]

Cover versions[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Schudel, Matt (May 12, 2012). "Dave Brubeck, ‘Take Five,’ and his longtime collaborator credited with the jazz legend’s biggest hit". The Washington Post (Washington). 
  2. ^ "Dave Brubeck". Britannica.com. Retrieved 2013-10-29. 
  3. ^ E♭m / B♭m7
  4. ^ Featured on the album version but not on the single.
  5. ^ "Take "Time Out" for Dave Brubeck. by Andrea Canter, May 20, 2008". Jazzpolice.com. 2008-05-20. Retrieved 2011-01-18. 
  6. ^ Kaplan, Fred (2009). 1959: The Year that Changed Everything. John Wiley & Sons. pp. 130–131. ISBN 978-0-470-38781-8. 
  7. ^ "Record Details: Dave Brubeck Quartet - Take Five / Blue Rondo à la Turk - Columbia - USA - 4-41479". 45cat.com. Retrieved 2013-10-31. The single is a truncated version of the LP track, with all but a few bars of the drum solo edited out. 
  8. ^ Doyle, Brian (2004). Spirited Men: Story, Soul & Substance. Lanham, MD: Cowley Publications. p. 90. ISBN 1-56101-258-0. 
  9. ^ Deda, Edmond (1968). Parada muzicii uşoare româneşti, Musical Publishing House, Bucharest. p. 17
  10. ^ Foss, Richard. "Review". All Music Guide. 
  11. ^ "Reference Point overview". Allmusic.com. 
  12. ^ "The String Cheese Incident". The String Cheese Incident. Retrieved 2011-01-18. 
  13. ^ "Dancing Fantasy overview". Allmusic.com. 
  14. ^ "Take Five". Sachal Studios Orchestra. Retrieved 2011-06-09.