Sunday, June 14, 2009

[NPR] Dave Brubeck: An Unlikely Hit, 50 Years Strong

In 1959, jazz pianist Dave Brubeck topped the pop charts and shook up the notion of rhythm in jazz with an odd-metered song called "Take Five."

All Things Considered Interview: Listen Now

Only trained musicians might understand exactly what gave the Paul Desmond-penned song its flow. It was all in the time signature: five beats to the measure, a departure from more traditional four-four time in jazz. It was cutting-edge and cool — a song millions would scoop up and savor. In an interview with Michele Norris, Brubeck explains what made the time signature so difficult.

"You were brought up playing in four-four," Brubeck says. "Everybody could walk to it and dance to it. Put an extra beat on it — everybody's tripping."

Fifty years ago, "Take Five" appeared on Time Out, a title that served as a double-entendre. Those in the know knew it referenced the mood and the music's meter.

At age 89, Brubeck has slowed down, but he's still playing and writing music.

"The more you get to play, the better it is — just play as you can while you can," Brubeck says. "I can't wait for the next job so we can play."

Shop The Dave Brubeck Store at
Best selling smooth jazz at
Jazz from

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

No comments: