Take Five is probably one of the jazz titles that is best-known to a mass audience. It was composed by Paul Desmond and it appeared on the album Time Out by the Dave Brubeck Quartet.
Pianist Brubeck had studied veterinary medicine before turning to music, and in 1949 he formed an octet, and then in 1951 his famous quartet with Paul Desmond playing saxophone. He signed with Columbia in 1954 and built up an excellent reputation, but in 1959 he became famous around the globe thanks to two titles, Take Five and Blue Rondo à la Turk.
In France, the singer Claude Nougaro made the quartet’s work popular when he wrote the French lyrics for versions of Three to get ready (adapted as Le jazz et la Java) and Blue Rondo a la Turk (with the title A bout de souffle). Dave Brubeck was “quiet man”, far from the legends and excess often linked with jazz: he would spend six decades in a world where life, and jazz, was “cool.”
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