In Your Own Sweet Way

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"In Your Own Sweet Way"
In Your Own Sweet Way.jpg
Cover of the 2007 CD released on the Avid label, which included a previously unreleased 1958 recording of the song
Written by Iola Brubeck
Music by Dave Brubeck
Published July 16, 1956 (1956-07-16)
Language English
Recorded by Dave Brubeck
Performed by Dave Brubeck

"In Your Own Sweet Way" is a 1955 jazz standard, and one of the most famous compositions of Dave Brubeck. It was written around 1952,[1] but its copyright notice was dated 1955.[2] Brubeck's wife Iola, for whom the song was written,[3] later wrote a lyric for the song, which led to singers such as Carmen McRae covering it.[4] Although an earlier live recording is known, "In Your Own Sweet Way" was first released on Brubeck's 1956 studio album Brubeck Plays Brubeck.


"In Your Own Sweet Way" is written in the key of E flat major, and is in the form of a jazz ballad. Author of the 1996 biography It's About Time: The Dave Brubeck Story, Fred Hall, said that this jazz standard, like other standards, such as "Take Five," has been performed by "various Brubeck combinations" and many other artists.[5] All Music Guide to Jazz notes the "contrasting lines" of the piece,[6] while a reviewer in a 1994 edition of Jazz Times mentions the versatility of the piece, saying, "[This jazz standard] is in the performer category, i.e., a tune that is extremely adaptable to many styles. One disc jockey sent me a tape of 32 versions of it, and another collector told me he had over 50 versions by various artists." [7] In the booklet of his career retrospective release "Dave Brubeck - Time Signatures" he mentions: "For the first few years the quartet played almost all standards, until one Day Paul Desmond said to me: »We've got to hire somebody to write some material for us.« I said »Paul, are you kidding? I'll write two tunes in half an hour!« I wrote "In Your Own Sweet Way" and "The Waltz" that night. From then on we started doing my material a lot more."


Although at least one earlier concert recording is known,[8] the song's first release, with three improvised choruses, was on Brubeck's 1956 solo album Brubeck Plays Brubeck.[2] The first quartet version appeared on the 1956 album Dave Brubeck and Jay & Kai at Newport, issued on the Columbia label. A new interpretation by the quartet appeared on the 1963 Columbia album Brandenburg Gate: Revisited.[9]


Many jazz artists have covered the standard. In 1963, composer/arranger Clare Fischer recorded a solo piano version for his 1966 album Easy Livin'. Jazz fusion guitarist John Etheridge recorded a well-received version for his 1994 album Ash.[10] Art Farmer and Lee Konitz also covered it in 1994 with the Joe Carter Quartet and Trio.[7]

The song title gave its name to the 2010 documentary film about Brubeck, produced by Clint Eastwood, Dave Brubeck: In His Own Sweet Way.[11]

Jazz keyboardist Bob James was inspired by "In Your Own Sweet Way" to compose his 2013 song "You Better Not Go to College" in homage to Brubeck.[12]

Guitarist Wes Montgomery included the tune on his 1960 The Incredible Jazz Guitar of Wes Montgomery album.


  1. ^ Randel, Don M (1996). The Harvard Biographical Dictionary of Music. Harvard University Press. p. 112. ISBN 978-0-674-37299-3. Retrieved December 17, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b "In Your Own Sweet Way". Retrieved December 17, 2012. 
  3. ^ Reich, Howard (June 20, 2011). "Dave Brubeck riffs with his sons on Father's Day". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved July 10, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Dave Brubeck: In Your Own Sweet Way". Allmusic. 2013. Retrieved January 4, 2013. 
  5. ^ Hall, Fred (1996). It's About Time: The Dave Brubeck Story. University of Arkansas Press. p. 68. ISBN 978-1-55728-405-1. Retrieved December 17, 2012. 
  6. ^ Bogdanov, Vladimir; Woodstra, Chris; Erlewine, Stephen Thomas (2002). All Music Guide to Jazz: The Definitive Guide to Jazz Music. Backbeat Books. p. 361. ISBN 978-0-87930-717-2. Retrieved December 17, 2012. 
  7. ^ a b JazzTimes. JazzTimes, Inc. December 1994. pp. 10–. ISSN 0272572X. Retrieved December 17, 2012. 
  8. ^ "Dave Brubeck Catalog". Jazz Discography Project. Retrieved February 23, 2011. 
  9. ^ "Dave Brubeck – Brandenburg Gate: Revisited" at
  10. ^ Carr, Ian; Fairweather, Digby; Priestley, Brian (2004). Jazz: The Essential Companion to Artists and Albums. Rough Guides. p. 3. ISBN 978-1-84353-256-9. Retrieved December 22, 2012. 
  11. ^ "Dave Brubeck: In His Own Sweet Way (2010)". TCM. Retrieved July 7, 2013. 
  12. ^ Brady, Shaun (July 2, 2013). "Two reunited jazz stars play the Keswick". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved July 10, 2013. 

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