Brubeck's most famous album is undoubtedly his 1959 album "Time out
", featuring Paul Desmond
's popular composition "Take Five
" in the tricky 5/4
time, which unusually for a jazz
composition, reached number five on the Adult Contemporary
chart when the single was released 2 years later.
Time out was in fact the first in a series of four time experiments by the quartet. Soon to follow was Time Further Out, an album whose songs were based on the blues. It featured Far More Blue in 5/4, Unsquare Dance in 7/4, and It's A Raggy Waltz, which, whilst in the slightly more commonplace time signature of 3/4, had very unusual beat placements within each bar, making it often feel as if it were in 4/4.
Next, in 1962, was Countdown: Time In Outer Space, going still further into the unusual time signatures. As well as the by now expected forays into 5/4 (Castilian Blues) and 7/4 (Three's A Crowd), it contained the (slightly unimaginatively named) Desmond composition Eleven Four (which I'm listening to right now as it happens).
Finally, there was Time Changes in 1964, which was in many ways a break away from the previous albums in the series. Elementals, the final track on the album, is over 15 minutes long, and recorded with a symphony orchestra. In the words of the conductor Rayburn Wright, "Elementals is his accurate forecast of the orchestra's role in becoming, by turns, the solo force and then the accompanying force - the very thing that jazz combos do naturally". The album also placated the unusual time signature buffs (of which I am most definitely one) with World's Fair, a (rather shorter) composition in 13/4.