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About the Reviewer - Wes George

I have been associated around the jazz genre all my life, growing up in a family of jazz professionals my parents played the classic swing and big band dance music throughout their 30 years on the road.

wes george

I grew up being bathed during practice nights by my mother who was the vocalist and pianist in the band and she would wash me during rehearsal breaks on a Sunday evening.

Although I heard all of the pop music growing up in the 50's, 60's and 70's and the soul, rock and country music that my brothers were playing in their bands I started playing soul, funk and fusion jazz in my live shows in the 70's and apart from a radio break in Canada whereby soft rock was the menu I continued with my live shows until 1994 when JazzNet247 Radio Europe was founded.

To Learn More about Wes George Please Click Here
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Artist : Dave Brubeck

Album : Time Outakes

Year : 2020

Label : Brubeck Editions

dave brubeck

Personnel : Dave Brubeck : Piano | Paul Desmond : Saxophone | Eugene Wright : Bass | Joe Morello : Drums

This album came as a wonderful surprise to me from my friend and servicing agent Mike Carlson from MC Promotions in the USA, it is ironic too to arrive at this time as I have just recently completed a review of Paul Desmond’s Take Ten LP from 1963 in my PERSONAL NOTES feature.

It is also fitting as I reviewed the original Dave Brubeck Quartet's ‘Time Out‘ album this year in the springtime and I was instrumental in promoting it for Sony Jazz back in the noughties when they had bought out Columbia, CBS, Legacy, CTI and Epic and the greatest jazz catalogue known to we jazz fans. This Columbia / Legacy project was part of a wonderful rich vein for jazz in the late 50’s and most of the background on the artists and album selected songs are on my previous album review.

So this addendum uncovers ‘ why ‘ the album is now released and the omission of two of the original songs ‘Everybody’s Jumpin’ and ‘Pick Up Sticks‘ being replaced by two different compositions i.e. ‘I’m In A Dancing Mood‘ and ‘Watusi Jam‘.

The release coincides with the centennial year of the great man Dave Brubeck and debuts the new Brubeck Editions record label. Created by the Brubeck Family the label celebrates the authorised music by one of the great American innovators and his collaborators. Not only was Dave Brubeck a great musician, composer and educator he was a modest and humble family man who was so in love with what he did that he continued playing in to his 90th years.

Time Outakes‘ offers ‘ alternative takes ‘ on five of the original ‘Time Out‘ standards and the two aforementioned new tracks, why the new additions were included was not available to me at the time of writing this review, but I will hazard my own guess forthwith.

To my ear the ‘Time Outakes‘ not selected for the original album were emphasizing emphatically on the underlying concept of the whole album where Dave and the band were showcasing the different and innovative ‘time signatures‘ and in the case of the opening ‘Blue Rondo A La Turk‘ it is a distinct separation at times of the highly original 9/8 time and the more conventional 4/4 time signature. Dave and Paul Desmond swing on the 4/4 theme whilst Dave showcases the 9/8 theme with ease, sprite and aplomb.

Dave’s playing on this version of ‘Strange Meadowlark‘ seems brighter to my ear than the version chosen on the original, but the interplay is just that, ‘alternative‘, and like Charlie Parker on his legendary ‘Now’s The Time‘ set and his three versions of ‘Chi Chi‘, any version could have appeared on the original ‘Time Out‘ collection, this one is superb too.

The Paul Desmond composition ‘Take Five‘ is a different vibe altogether and I think that Joe Morello on drums is more succinct than on the original and that Dave’s improvisation is also a lot more complex. Paul Desmond also seems to be playing at a little faster tempo than the version that I am so accustomed to.

Three To Get Ready‘ opens with an unusual 3 bar sequence in 3/4 time and then a pattern of two bars in 3/4 time followed by two bars in 4/4 time. Dave’s almost harpsichord-like-timbre from his piano is probably owed much to his love of classical music. Paul Desmond’s solo in 4/4 time is lyrical and ends again with Dave swinging reminiscently of his great friend Duke Ellington from whom he owed so much mentorship and he showed his love and admiration to him when Duke brought him a copy of ‘Time Magazine‘ whereby Dave had preceded Duke on the front cover, his comment to Duke was ‘It should have been you Duke‘, so humble was the great man.

Not sure if it is a typo or intentional, but ‘Kathy’s Waltz‘ is written ’Cathy’s Waltz‘ ( as it was written for his daughter Cathy ) on ‘Time Outakes‘, regardless, this is another swinging version of the beautiful track again switching between 4/4 and the 3/4 waltz time signature. Dave’s dexterity is impeccable and athletic bearing in mind his accident in his earlier days which left him with a residual nerve pain in his hands and restricted his movements somewhat, this track shows no sign of that issue whatsoever.

I’m In A Dancing Mood‘ is a new track on ‘Time Outakes‘, but in those days LP sides were limited to circa 20 minutes per side and it must have been quite a decision ‘not to include this‘ on the original, but I guess the break to almost Latin American / Cuban rhythms and uptempo mainstream flow and time changes may have made this piece ‘all too much for the listener to comprehend‘ in 1959. Personally I love it.

Watusi Jam‘ is again experimenting with different time signatures ‘on the fly‘ and many kudos most go to the bassist Gene Wright and drummer Joe Morello for their superb expertise and originality in keeping these compositions in an organised flow as they are so complex in the arrangements that the rehearsals must have been marathons. Joe Morello’s solo on this track is a masterclass in syncopated drumming and a groundbreaking result for drummers of the day who were still recovering from Bebop which was to lead to to Avant Garde, Fusion and Experimental Jazz, (non of the last 3 I personally care for), but this track is a Vanguard for all aspiring drummers even today.

One of the tracks on ‘Time Outakes‘ is dedicated to the rehearsals and comments between the band members during the recordings on June 25th 1959, 1st July 1959 and the 18th of August 1959 and Fred Plaut (sound engineer) and Teo Macero (producer) complete the cast of what was to be a million copy selling album, which in jazz terms was absolutely groundbreaking at that time. Dave Brubeck commentated that it would be probably a ‘Dust Collector‘ in records stores, how wrong could he be ?

On the 'One Sheet Notes' accompanying the servicing of the album, two greats in their respective fields pay tribute to Dave Brubeck, the first is the 44th PROTUS, and another humble and wonderful man IMHO (and I am British), President Barrack Abama who states that ‘ You cannot understand America without understanding jazz music and you cannot understand jazz without understanding Dave Brubeck

The other is the legendary Herbie Hancock, another trendsetting pianist and composer and former sidemen to many of the greats in his youth including Miles Davis, he states ‘ Jazz changed everything for me, and Dave did that, he was the wizard of West Coast Cool and with ‘Time Out‘ he took jazz into the stratosphere ‘.

If you liked the original, don't waste a second more and buy 'Time Outakes' NOW !.

Review by

Wes George (former Webmaster with Sony Jazz UK)
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Similar Artists - Duke Ellington, Bill Evans, Thelonious Monk, Oscar Peterson, Count Basie, Herbie Hancock, Diana Krall, Lennie Tristano

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