July 30, 2007

"Take Five"

From left: Gene Wright (seated), Dave Brubeck, Paul Desmond, Joe Morello (seated) in 1959, listening to a Time Out playback


From the Wikipedia entry:

"Take Five" is a classic jazz piece first recorded by the Dave Brubeck Quartet and released on its 1959 album Time Out. Composed by Paul Desmond, the group's saxophonist, it became famous for its distinctive, catchy saxophone melody and use of quintuple time, from which the piece got its name. While "Take Five" was not the first jazz composition to use this meter, it was the first of United States mainstream significance, becoming a hit on the radio at a time when rock music was in fashion. It is also known for the solo by jazz drummer Joe Morello.

Time Out (1959)

Here is the "Classic quartet" (Dave Brubeck - piano, Paul Desmond - alto saxophone, Eugene Wright - double bass, and Joe Morello - drums) playing "Take Five" live in 1961, on a program hosted by Ralph J. Gleason called "Jazz Casual":



Most songs, even if they are instrumentals, have lyrics. Even, it seems, "Take Five":

"Take Five"

Won’t you stop and take a little time out with me, just take five;
Stop your busy day and take the time out to see I’m alive.

Though I`m going out of my way,
Just so I can pass by each day,
Not a single word do we say,
It`s a pantomime and not a play

Still I know our eyes often meet,
I feel tingles down to my feet,
when you smile that’s much too discrete,
sends me on my way.

Wouldn’t it be better not to be so polite, you could offer a light;
Start a little conversation now, it’s alright, just take five, just take five.

[Improvisation]

Though I`m going out of my way,
Just so I can pass by each day,
Not a single word do we say,
It`s a pantomime and not a play

Still I know our eyes often meet,
I feel tingles down to my feet,
when you smile that’s much too discrete,
sends me on my way.

Wouldn’t it be better not to be so polite, you could offer a light;
Start a little conversation now, it’s alright, just take five, just take five


Those were written by Brubeck and his wife, and singers such Al Jarreau have recorded a version with the lyrics.

2 comments:

dearieme said...

Carmen McRae's version was very fine. She also sang "Raggy Waltz" beautifully. It was really easy to fall for jazz back then, because the pop music was god-awful.

Chris said...

Thanks for the suggestion. I'm guessing you're referring to the period in the fifties before Elvis Presley when Mitch Miller was king.