Time Out (album)

Last updated

Time Out
Time out album cover.jpg
Artwork for the 1997 CD, painting by S. Neil Fujita
Studio album by
ReleasedDecember 14, 1959 (1959-12-14)
RecordedJune 25, July 1, and August 18, 1959
Studio Columbia 30th Street (New York City)
Genre West Coast jazz
Label Columbia
Producer Teo Macero
Dave Brubeck chronology
The Riddle
Time Out
Bernstein Plays Brubeck Plays Bernstein
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svg [1]
The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svg [2]
MSN Music (Consumer Guide)B+ [3]
Q Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svg [4]
Tom Hull A [5]

Time Out is a studio album by the American jazz group the Dave Brubeck Quartet, released in 1959 on Columbia Records. Recorded at Columbia's 30th Street Studio in New York City, it is based upon the use of time signatures that were unusual for jazz such as 9
, 6
and 5
. [6] The album is a subtle blend of cool and West Coast jazz. [7] [8]


The album peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard pop albums chart, and was the first jazz album to sell a million copies. [9] The single "Take Five" off the album was also the first jazz single to sell one million copies. [9] By 1963, the record had sold 500,000 units, and in 2011 it was certified double platinum by the RIAA, signifying over two million records sold. [10] [11] The album was inducted in the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2009.

The album was selected, in 2005, for preservation in the United States National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".


The album was intended as an experiment using musical styles Brubeck discovered abroad while on a United States Department of State sponsored tour of Eurasia, such as when he observed in Turkey a group of street musicians performing a traditional Turkish folk song that was played in 9
time with subdivisions of 2+2+2+3, a rare meter for Western music. [12]

On the condition that Brubeck's group first record a conventional album of traditional songs of the American South, Gone with the Wind , [13] Columbia president Goddard Lieberson took a chance to underwrite and release Time Out. It received negative reviews by critics upon its release. [14] It produced a Top 40 hit single in "Take Five", composed by Paul Desmond, and the one track not written by Dave Brubeck.

Although the theme of Time Out is non-common-time signatures, things are not quite so simple. "Blue Rondo à la Turk" starts in 9
, with a typically Balkan 2+2+2+3 subdivision into short and long beats (the rhythm of the Turkish zeybek , equivalent of the Greek zeibekiko ) as opposed to the more typical way of subdividing 9
as 3+3+3, but the saxophone and piano solos are in 4
. The title is a play on Mozart's "Rondo alla Turca" from his Piano Sonata No. 11, and reflects the fact that the band heard the rhythm while traveling in Turkey. [8] [15]

"Strange Meadow Lark" begins with a piano solo that exhibits no clear time signature, but then settles into a fairly ordinary 4
swing once the rest of the group joins. "Take Five" is in 5
throughout. According to Desmond, "It was never supposed to be a hit. It was supposed to be a Joe Morello drum solo." [14] "Three to Get Ready" begins in waltz-time, after which it begins to alternate between two measures of 3
and two of 4
. "Kathy's Waltz", named after Brubeck's daughter Cathy but misspelled, starts in 4
, and only later switches to double-waltz time before merging the two. "Everybody's Jumpin'" is mainly in a very flexible 6
, while "Pick Up Sticks" firms that up into a clear and steady 6

In an article for The Independent , Spencer Leigh speculated that "Kathy's Waltz" inspired the song "All My Loving", written by Paul McCartney, credited to Lennon/McCartney, and performed by the Beatles, as they share similar rhythmic endings to the last phrases of their melodies. [16]


The Dave Brubeck Quartet followed up Time Out with three more similarly-named albums that also made use of uncommon time signatures: Time Further Out (1961), Countdown—Time in Outer Space (1962) and Time Changes (1964). Another album, Time In (1966), which featured the quartet but was credited only to Brubeck, echoed the title of Time Out, although it made use of more conventional time signatures.

In 2005, Time Out was one of 50 recordings chosen that year by the Library of Congress to be added to the National Recording Registry. It was also listed that year in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die . In 2009 the album was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. [17]


In 1997, the album was remastered for compact disc by Legacy Recordings.

In 2009 Legacy Recordings released a special three-disc 50th Anniversary Edition of Time Out. This edition offers a much higher dynamic range than the 1997 remaster. In addition to the complete album, the Legacy Edition includes a bonus disc featuring previously unreleased concert recordings of the same Brubeck Quartet from the 1961, 1963, and 1964 gatherings of Newport Jazz Festival. The Legacy Edition's third disc is a DVD featuring a 30-minute interview with Brubeck in 2003, and an interactive "piano lesson" where the viewer can toggle through four different camera angles of Brubeck performing a solo version of "Three to Get Ready". [18]

In 2020, the album Time OutTakes was released, which was overseen by Brubeck's children and released on their own record label, Brubeck Editions. The album features alternate takes of "Blue Rondo a la Turk", "Strange Meadowlark", "Take Five", "Three To Get Ready" and "Kathy's Waltz" (now billed as "Cathy's Waltz"), as well as two songs from the same sessions that had not been included on the album: a cover of "I'm In a Dancing Mood" (which Brubeck had previously covered, live and on the album Dave Brubeck and Jay & Kai at Newport ) and "Watusi Jam" (a take on Brubeck's composition "Watusi Drums"). [19] The release was chosen as a Critics Pick by The New York Times. [20]

Track listing


Side one
1."Blue Rondo à la Turk" Dave Brubeck 6:44
2."Strange Meadow Lark"Brubeck7:22
3."Take Five" Paul Desmond 5:24
Side two
4."Three to Get Ready"Brubeck5:24
5."Kathy's Waltz"Brubeck4:48
6."Everybody's Jumpin'"Brubeck4:23
7."Pick Up Sticks"Brubeck4:16
2009 bonus tracks
8."St. Louis Blues" W. C. Handy 7:55
9."Waltz Limp"Brubeck4:57
10."Since Love Had Its Way"Brubeck6:19
11."Koto Song"Brubeck6:00
12."Pennies from Heaven" Arthur Johnston, Johnny Burke 4:49
13."You Go to My Head" J. Fred Coots, Haven Gillespie 9:36
14."Blue Rondo à La Turk" (alternate take)Brubeck7:22
15."Take Five" (alternate take)Desmond7:18


The Dave Brubeck Quartet



Album Billboard (United States)

1961Pop Albums2

Time Out peaked at No. 2 the week of November 27, 1961 on the Billboard Monaural LPs chart, behind only Judy at Carnegie Hall by Judy Garland.[ citation needed ]

SinglesBillboard (United States)

1961"Take Five"Adult Contemporary5
1961"Take Five"Pop Singles25

Sales and certifications

Time Out was the first jazz album to sell more than a million copies. [22] [9] The album was certified platinum in 1997 and double platinum in 2011. [10] [23] [11] The single, "Take Five", also sold over a million. [24]

United States2x Platinum [25] 2,000,000+

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Dave Brubeck</span> American jazz pianist and composer (1920–2012)

David Warren Brubeck was an American jazz pianist and composer. Often regarded as a foremost exponent of cool jazz, Brubeck's work is characterized by unusual time signatures and superimposing contrasting rhythms, meters, and tonalities.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Paul Desmond</span> American jazz saxophonist and composer

Paul Desmond was an American jazz alto saxophonist and composer, best known for his work with the Dave Brubeck Quartet and for composing that group's biggest hit, "Take Five". He was one of the most popular musicians to come out of the cool jazz scene.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Joe Morello</span> American jazz drummer

Joseph Albert Morello was an American jazz drummer best known for serving as the drummer for pianist Dave Brubeck, as part of the Dave Brubeck Quartet, from 1957 to 1972, including during the quartet's "classic lineup" from 1958 to 1968, which also included alto saxophonist Paul Desmond and bassist Eugene Wright. Morello's facility for playing unusual time signatures and rhythms enabled that group to record a series of albums that explored unusual time signatures. The most notable of these was the first in the series, the 1959 album Time Out, which contained the hit songs "Take Five" and "Blue Rondo à la Turk". In fact, "Take Five", the album's biggest hit was specifically written by Desmond as a way to showcase Morello's ability to play in 5

<i>At Carnegie Hall</i> (Dave Brubeck Quartet album) 1963 live album by The Dave Brubeck Quartet

At Carnegie Hall is a jazz live album by the Dave Brubeck Quartet. It was recorded at the famed Carnegie Hall in New York City on Friday, February 22, 1963. Critic Thom Jurek described it as "one of the great live jazz albums of the 1960s". Critic Jim Santella wrote, "This is timeless music from a classic ensemble. Goosebumps are guaranteed."

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Take Five</span> Jazz standard recorded by the Dave Brubeck Quartet

"Take Five" is a jazz standard composed by saxophonist Paul Desmond and originally recorded by the Dave Brubeck Quartet for their album Time Out at Columbia Records' 30th Street Studios in New York City on July 1, 1959. Two years later it became a sleeper hit and the biggest-selling jazz single ever. Revived since in numerous movie and television soundtracks, the piece still receives significant radio airplay. The single was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1996.

Triple metre is a musical metre characterized by a primary division of 3 beats to the bar, usually indicated by 3 (simple) or 9 (compound) in the upper figure of the time signature, with 3
, 3
, 3
and 9
being the most common examples. The upper figure being divisible by three does not of itself indicate triple metre; for example, a time signature of 6
usually indicates compound duple metre, and similarly 12
usually indicates compound quadruple metre.

"Blue Rondo à la Turk" is a jazz standard composition by Dave Brubeck. It appeared on the album Time Out in 1959. It is written in 9
time, with one side theme in 4
and the choice of rhythm was inspired by the Turkish aksak time signatures. It was originally recorded by the Dave Brubeck Quartet with Dave Brubeck on piano, Paul Desmond on alto saxophone, Eugene Wright on bass, and Joe Morello on drums.

<i>Jazz Goes to College</i> 1954 live album by The Dave Brubeck Quartet

Jazz Goes to College is a 1954 album documenting the North American college tour of the Dave Brubeck Quartet. It was Dave Brubeck's first album for Columbia Records. He was joined by alto saxophonist Paul Desmond, double bassist Bob Bates, and drummer Joe Dodge. The album was re-released on CD and cassette in the Columbia Jazz Masterpieces series in 1989 and on CD by Sony International in 2000.

<i>Time Further Out</i> 1961 studio album by The Dave Brubeck Quartet

Time Further Out is a jazz studio album by the Dave Brubeck Quartet released by Columbia Records in November 1961. It features the "classic" lineup of the quartet: pianist and leader Dave Brubeck, alto saxophonist Paul Desmond, bassist Eugene Wright, and drummer Joe Morello. The album was recorded by engineer Fred Plaut and produced by Teo Macero.

<i>Time Changes</i> 1964 studio album by The Dave Brubeck Quartet

Time Changes is a 1964 album by The Dave Brubeck Quartet, based upon the use of time signatures that were unusual in jazz music.

<i>The Great Concerts</i> 1988 live album by The Dave Brubeck Quartet

The Great Concerts is a jazz live album by The Dave Brubeck Quartet. It was originally released on LP and CD under the series Columbia Jazz Masterpieces, in 1988. Then, it was re-released in 1998 and again in 2009. It includes live recordings from 1958 and 1963. The pieces were produced by associated producers: the first six tracks were produced by Teo Macero and Mike Berniker; track 7 and 8 by Berniker and Cal Lampley.

<i>Time In</i> (album) 1966 studio album by Dave Brubeck

Time In is a 1966 studio album by Dave Brubeck, the last of Brubeck's 'Time' series.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">In Your Own Sweet Way</span> 1956 instrumental by Dave Brubeck

"In Your Own Sweet Way" is a 1955 jazz standard, and one of the most famous compositions by Dave Brubeck. It was written around 1952, but its copyright notice was dated 1955. Brubeck's wife Iola, for whom the song was written, later wrote a lyric for the song, which led to singers such as Carmen McRae recording it. Although an earlier live recording is known, "In Your Own Sweet Way" was first released on Brubeck's 1956 studio album Brubeck Plays Brubeck.

Just You, Just Me is a 1994 album by Dave Brubeck. This album is the 3rd of Brubeck's solo works preceded by Brubeck Plays Brubeck and Plays and Plays and.... There was a 37-year gap between "Brubeck Plays and Plays" and this album with Brubeck focusing on working with his quartet during that time. Brubeck writes that for this album, "...I prefer to record in the same way as I play at home..." with all of the songs on this album being first takes with no advanced editing. The exception to this is "I Understand" of which Brubeck did three takes playing each in different ways.

<i>Supernova</i> (Gonzalo Rubalcaba Trio album) 2001 studio album by Gonzalo Rubalcaba Trio

Supernova is a studio album by The Gonzalo Rubalcaba Trio released by Blue Note Records on July 17, 2001. The trio consisted of Gonzalo Rubalcaba on piano, bassist Carlos Henriguez, and drummer Ignacio Berroa. It peaked at number 25 in the Billboard Top Jazz Albums chart.

<i>Countdown—Time in Outer Space</i> 1962 studio album by Dave Brubeck Quartet

Countdown—Time in Outer Space is a studio album released by the Dave Brubeck Quartet in 1962 on Columbia LP record CS 8575 (stereo) and CL 1775 (mono). The front cover features the 1959 painting Orange and Black Wall by Franz Kline. In Australia the album appeared on the Coronet label. It was re-released, for the first time in digital format, in 2004 as part of a compact disc collection titled Dave Brubeck: For All Time. It was again released as part of the box set The Dave Brubeck Quartet: the Columbia Studio Albums Collection 1955-1966. Both CD re-releases feature a bonus track titled "Fatha".

<i>The Last Set at Newport</i> 1972 live album by Dave Brubeck

The Last Set at Newport is a 1971 live album by Dave Brubeck and his quartet recorded at the 1971 Newport Jazz Festival, shortly before a riot ensued. The album peaked at 16 on the Billboard Top Jazz Charts.

<i>Brandenburg Gate: Revisited</i> 1963 live album by The Dave Brubeck Quartet

Brandenburg Gate: Revisited is a studio album by The Dave Brubeck Quartet accompanied by an orchestra arranged by Howard Brubeck.

<i>The Crossing</i> (Dave Brubeck album) 2001 studio album by Dave Brubeck

The Crossing is 2001 studio album by pianist Dave Brubeck and his quartet.

<i>Jazz Impressions of Eurasia</i> 1958 live album by Dave Brubeck

Jazz Impressions of Eurasia is a studio album by pianist Dave Brubeck and his quartet recorded after, and inspired by, their 1958 world tour sponsored by the American state department during which they played 80 concerts in 14 countries, including Turkey, Iran, Iraq, India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, over three months. In the liner notes to the album, Brubeck notes that "These sketches of Eurasia have been developed from random musical phrases I jotted down in my notebook as we chugged across the fields of Europe, or skimmed across the deserts of Asia, or walked in the alleyways of an ancient bazaar. ... I tried to create an impression of a particular locale by using some of the elements of their folk music within the jazz idiom." The album was recorded in July and August 1958 at the Columbia 30th St. Studios in New York.


  1. Huey, Steve. Time Out at AllMusic. Retrieved December 14, 2011.
  2. Cook, Richard; Morton, Brian (2008). The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings (9th ed.). Penguin. p. 189. ISBN   978-0-141-03401-0.
  3. Christgau, Robert (December 7, 2012). "Dave Brubeck". MSN Music. Microsoft . Retrieved December 7, 2012.
  4. "Review: Time Out". Q . London: 112. March 1995.
  5. Hull, Tom (n.d.). "Jazz (1940–50s) (Reference)". tomhull.com. Retrieved March 4, 2020.
  6. Race, Steve (1959). Time Out (Media notes). Columbia Records.
  7. Sutro, Dirk (2011). "Los Angeles and West Coast cool". Jazz For Dummies (2nd ed.). John Wiley & Sons. ISBN   978-1-118-06852-6 . Retrieved December 26, 2011.
  8. 1 2 McCurdy, Ronald C. (2004). "The Story of Dave Brubeck". Meet the Great Jazz Legends. Alfred Music Publishing. p. 48. ISBN   978-0-7390-3094-3 . Retrieved December 26, 2011.
  9. 1 2 3 "The Dave Brubeck Quartet's 'Time Out' at 60: Inside Jazz's First Million-Selling LP". Billboard. December 13, 2019. Retrieved August 17, 2020.
  10. 1 2 Crist, Stephen A. (September 4, 2019). Dave Brubeck's Time out. New York. ISBN   9780190217747. OCLC   1114518123.
  11. 1 2 ""Time Out"—The Dave Brubeck Quartet (1959)" (PDF). Library of Congress. Retrieved August 17, 2020.
  12. Kaplan, Fred (2009). 1959: The Year that Changed Everything . John Wiley & Sons. pp.  130–131. ISBN   978-0-470-38781-8.
  13. Kaplan 2009, p. 131.
  14. 1 2 Brubeck, Dave (November 1996). Time Out is still in (Media notes). Sony Music Entertainment.
  15. Smith, Hedrick (December 16, 2001). "Rediscovering Dave Brubeck – The Music". PBS . Retrieved December 26, 2011.
  16. Leigh, Spencer (July 8, 2010). "When it comes to songwriting, there's a fine line between inspiration and plagiarism" . The Independent . Archived from the original on May 7, 2022. Retrieved December 26, 2011.
  17. "GRAMMY Hall Of Fame". GRAMMY.com. October 18, 2010.
  18. Flanagan, Graham L. (June 2, 2009). "Dave Brubeck: Time Out (50th Anniversary Legacy Edition)". All About Jazz. Retrieved December 26, 2011.
  19. Hynes, Jim (December 1, 2020). "Dave Brubeck Quartet's Iconic 1959 'Time Out' Outtakes Are Finally Available Via 'Time OutTakes' (ALBUM REVIEW)". Glide Magazine.
  20. Russonello, Giovanni (December 7, 2020). "'Take Five' Is Impeccable. 'Time Outtakes' Shows How Dave Brubeck Made It". The New York Times. ISSN   0362-4331 . Retrieved June 27, 2022.
  21. Time Out (Media notes). Sony Music Entertainment. 1997.
  22. "Song Of The Day: Dave Brubeck's 'Take Five'|Jazz24".
  23. "Recordings". Dave Brubeck Jazz.
  24. Chilton, Martin (December 5, 2012). "Dave Brubeck, Take Five jazz star, dies 91". Telegraph. Retrieved December 5, 2012.
  25. "Gold & Platinum Searchable Database". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved December 14, 2011. (Search for "Brubeck, Dave".)