(All Album Reviews by Chuck AzEee!)
1959, Creatively speaking was a great year for the genre on jazz, many of the greats were rounding into shape releasing some of the most stunning recordings ever released, but to most critics, the release of Miles Davis' Kind Of Blue signaled the pinnacle of jazz creativity, and would prove extremely influential in the course that jazz would take from there on.
But the other album released in 1959 that would often take a back seat to Miles' Kind Of Blue, is a remarkable recording that then as now, would not only be as popular, but just as influential as well. Now let's dwell on the album of this review, Dave Brubeck's Time Out, and how I'll explain why this album is as progressive as anything here.
By 1958, the mythical Dave Brubeck Quartet had been settled upon, Dave on Piano, the late, great Paul Desmond on Alto Saxophone, Eugene Wright on Bass and Joe Morrelo on Drums. To the foolish jazz critics of the time, the quartet (as great as they were at the time) were often considered a "second rate pop band", but their peers knew different. First of all, Dave Brubeck's percussive style of playing was very different from the pianist of his time, the then maligned Paul Desmond, sadly was considered the Kenny G of his time, but once again time would say differently, as his warm tone was anti-Parker, at his highest registers, soared like a soprano sax, and his lowest, was as soulful as tenor man, Connie Hawkins. Not to be out done, the rhythm section was as complex and as great as any duo of its time, bassist Eugene Wright's virtuosity on the bass matched the complexity of the music, bottomed out by the unbelievable drumming of Joe Morello, whose knowledge of the drums was as competent as Max Roach. Now does that sound like a "pop" band to you?
The quartet's Time Out is a crowning achievement, in jazz circles, and unlike most of the jazz albums of its time, was a crossover hit, spawning one of the enduring classic ever recorded, in Paul Desmond's accidental hit, "Take Five", which was originally intended as a drum solo for Joe Morrelo, but later adapted for the rest of the band.
The first song, and jazz standard, "Blue Rondo A La Turk" is probably the most influential song on Time Out, revered by future rock legends like Keith Emerson, Frank Zappa, Robert Fripp, Brian Wilson as one the greatest songs they have ever listened to.
Everything else here would become staples in Dave's live repertoire, and covered by many bands in the future, but due the vast popularity of Time Out, this particular quartet would never capture the greatness of this recording in their time together, future recordings would bear similar resemblances in style, and the band would often resort to covering "pop" standards, belittling the promise of this great quartet.
Album Rating: One of the greatest albums of any genre, beyond categorizing and worthy of any music fan that loves listening to multi-shifting, time-signatures placed to soulful like-mood music, otherwise labeled as "cool" jazz.