Give Me Five

The Dave Brubeck Quartet’s album is the jazz joint I could jam to all night when I need a Time Out. Every track is a classic, and “Take Five” is a novelty. As the title of the song suggested, “Take Five” is based on a 5/4 meter, which is five beats per measure, instead of the traditional three or four. In the introduction, Jone Morello’s drums set up the meter, and joined by an invariant vamp from Brubeck’s piano. Then Paul Desmond’s unctuously sweet alto saxophone flow over a rhythmic and harmonic ostinato of the piano like gas gushes through glass. Since Desmond improvises on one-measure vamp instead of on the structure, the pitches are drawn mainly from the modal scales, something Miles Davis was famous for. The tune gets even better with the dope drum drops backing up by Brubeck’s insistent ostinato. All I can say is “S’wonderful.”

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