The second track on the 1959 Dave Brubeck
album Time Out
, composed and arranged by Dave Brubeck and released on Columbia Records
According to Steve Race's liner notes,
"Strange Meadow Lark opens with Brubeck playing rubato, though there are overtones of 3s and 4s, and the phrase length is an unusual 10 bars. Dave's performance throughout is simple and expressive, with fine support from Eugene Wright and Joe Morello. Meadow Lark closes with a contribution from the wistful, dreamlike saxophone of Paul Desmond."
At first, it's just a pleasant sort of gently jazzy tune, not one of the more distinguished tracks on the album, until Desmond's solo starts at about two minutes in. The moment where his saxophone comes in is one of the most beautiful things I've ever heard.
It's like suddenly walking over a ridge to find that you're on top of a mountain and you can see all the way to the ocean, and the wind is all cold in your hair but you have a down jacket on and your dad is hugging you from behind and pointing out where you can see your house way off in the distance.