Time Out (album)

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Time Out
An abstract painting with the album title and artist name written around it
Artwork for the 1997 CD, painting by S. Neil Fujita
Studio album by
ReleasedDecember 14, 1959 (1959-12-14)
RecordedJune 25, July 1, and August 18, 1959
StudioColumbia 30th Street Studio
New York City
GenreCool jazz
ProducerTeo Macero
Dave Brubeck chronology
The Riddle
Time Out
Bernstein Plays Brubeck Plays Bernstein
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic5/5 stars[1]
The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings4/4 stars [2]
MSN Music (Consumer Guide)B+[3]
Q4/5 stars[4]
Tom HullA[5]

Time Out is a studio album by the American jazz group the Dave Brubeck Quartet, released in 1959 on Columbia Records. Recorded at Columbia's 30th Street Studio in New York City, it is based upon the use of time signatures that were unusual for jazz such as 9
, 6
and 5
.[6] The album is a subtle blend of cool and West Coast jazz.[7][8]

The album peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard pop albums chart, and was the first jazz album to sell a million copies.[9] The single "Take Five" off the album was also the first jazz single to sell one million copies.[9] By 1963, the record had sold 500,000 units, and in 2011 it was certified double platinum by the RIAA, signifying over two million records sold.[10][11][dubious ] The album was inducted in the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2009.

The album was selected, in 2005, for preservation in the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally historically or aesthetically significant".


The album was intended as an experiment using musical styles Brubeck discovered abroad while on a United States Department of State sponsored tour of Eurasia, such as when he observed in Turkey a group of street musicians performing a traditional Turkish folk song that was played in 9
time with subdivisions of 2+2+2+3, a rare meter for Western music.[12]

On the condition that Brubeck's group first record a conventional album of traditional songs of the American South, Gone with the Wind,[13] Columbia president Goddard Lieberson took a chance to underwrite and release Time Out. It received negative reviews by critics upon its release.[14] It produced a Top 40 hit single in "Take Five", composed by Paul Desmond, and the one track not written by Dave Brubeck.

Although the theme of Time Out is non-common-time signatures, things are not quite so simple. "Blue Rondo à la Turk" starts in 9
, with a typically Balkan 2+2+2+3 subdivision into short and long beats (the rhythm of the Turkish zeybek, equivalent of the Greek zeibekiko) as opposed to the more typical way of subdividing 9
as 3+3+3, but the saxophone and piano solos are in 4
. The title is a play on Mozart's "Rondo alla Turca" from his Piano Sonata No. 11, and reflects the fact that the band heard the rhythm while traveling in Turkey.[8][15]

"Strange Meadow Lark" begins with a piano solo that exhibits no clear time signature, but then settles into a fairly ordinary 4
swing once the rest of the group joins. "Take Five" is in 5
throughout. According to Desmond, "It was never supposed to be a hit. It was supposed to be a Joe Morello drum solo."[14] "Three to Get Ready" begins in waltz-time, after which it begins to alternate between two measures of 3
and two of 4
. "Kathy's Waltz", named after Brubeck's daughter Cathy but misspelled, starts in 4
, and only later switches to double-waltz time before merging the two. "Everybody's Jumpin'" is mainly in a very flexible 6
, while "Pick Up Sticks" firms that up into a clear and steady 6

In an article for The Independent, Spencer Leigh speculated that "Kathy's Waltz" inspired the song "All My Loving", written by Paul McCartney and performed by The Beatles, as they share similar rhythmic endings to the last phrases of their melodies.[16]


In 1997, the album was remastered for compact disc by Legacy Recordings. In 2005, it was one of 50 recordings chosen that year by the Library of Congress to be added to the National Recording Registry. It was also listed in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. In 2009 the album was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.[17]

In 2009 Legacy Recordings released a special three-disc 50th Anniversary Edition of Time Out. This edition offers a much higher dynamic range than the 1997 remaster. In addition to the complete album, the Legacy Edition includes a bonus disc featuring previously unreleased concert recordings of the same Brubeck Quartet from the 1961, 1963, and 1964 gatherings of Newport Jazz Festival. The Legacy Edition's third disc is a DVD featuring a 30-minute interview with Brubeck in 2003, and an interactive "piano lesson" where the viewer can toggle through four different camera angles of Brubeck performing a solo version of "Three to Get Ready".[18]

Track listing[edit]

All pieces composed by Dave Brubeck, except "Take Five" by Paul Desmond.[19]

Side one

  1. "Blue Rondo à la Turk" – 6:44
  2. "Strange Meadow Lark" – 7:22
  3. "Take Five" – 5:24

Side two

  1. "Three to Get Ready" – 5:24
  2. "Kathy's Waltz" – 4:48
  3. "Everybody's Jumpin'" – 4:23
  4. "Pick Up Sticks" – 4:16


The Dave Brubeck Quartet


  • Teo Macero – producer
  • Fred Plaut – engineer
  • S. Neil Fujita – cover artwork
  • Seth Rothstein – project director
  • Russell Gloyd – reissue producer
  • Mark Wilder – reissue remastering
  • Cozbi Sanchez-Cabrera – reissue art direction


Album Billboard (United States)

Year Chart Position
1961 Pop Albums 2

Time Out peaked at No. 2 the week of November 27, 1961 on the Billboard Monaural LPs chart, behind only Judy at Carnegie Hall by Judy Garland.[citation needed]

Singles Billboard (United States)

Year Single Chart Position
1961 "Take Five" Adult Contemporary 5
1961 "Take Five" Pop Singles 25

Sales and certifications

Time Out was the first jazz album to sell more than a million copies.[20][9] The album was certified platinum in 1997 and double platinum in 2011.[10][21][11][dubious ] The single, "Take Five", also sold over a million.[22]

Country Certification Sales
United States Platinum[23] 1,000,000+


  1. ^ Huey, Steve. Time Out at AllMusic. Retrieved December 14, 2011.
  2. ^ Cook, Richard; Morton, Brian (2008). The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings (9th ed.). Penguin. p. 189. ISBN 978-0-141-03401-0.
  3. ^ Christgau, Robert (December 7, 2012). "Dave Brubeck". MSN Music. Microsoft. Retrieved December 7, 2012.
  4. ^ "Review: Time Out". Q. London: 112. March 1995.
  5. ^ Hull, Tom (n.d.). "Jazz (1940–50s) (Reference)". tomhull.com. Retrieved March 4, 2020.
  6. ^ Race, Steve (1959). Time Out (Media notes). Columbia Records.
  7. ^ Sutro, Dirk (2011). "Los Angeles and West Coast cool". Jazz For Dummies (2nd ed.). John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 978-1-118-06852-6. Retrieved December 26, 2011.
  8. ^ a b McCurdy, Ronald C. (2004). "The Story of Dave Brubeck". Meet the Great Jazz Legends. Alfred Music Publishing. p. 48. ISBN 978-0-7390-3094-3. Retrieved December 26, 2011.
  9. ^ a b c "The Dave Brubeck Quartet's 'Time Out' at 60: Inside Jazz's First Million-Selling LP". Billboard. December 13, 2019. Retrieved August 17, 2020.
  10. ^ a b Crist, Stephen A. (September 4, 2019). Dave Brubeck's Time out. New York. ISBN 9780190217747. OCLC 1114518123.
  11. ^ a b ""Time Out"—The Dave Brubeck Quartet (1959)" (PDF). Library of Congress. Retrieved August 17, 2020.
  12. ^ Kaplan, Fred (2009). 1959: The Year that Changed Everything. John Wiley & Sons. pp. 130–131. ISBN 978-0-470-38781-8.
  13. ^ Kaplan 2009, p. 131.
  14. ^ a b Brubeck, Dave (November 1996). Time Out is still in (Media notes). Sony Music Entertainment.
  15. ^ Smith, Hedrick (December 16, 2001). "Rediscovering Dave Brubeck – The Music". PBS. Retrieved December 26, 2011.
  16. ^ Leigh, Spencer (July 8, 2010). "When it comes to songwriting, there's a fine line between inspiration and plagiarism". The Independent. Retrieved December 26, 2011.
  17. ^ "GRAMMY Hall Of Fame". GRAMMY.com. October 18, 2010.
  18. ^ Flanagan, Graham L. (June 2, 2009). "Dave Brubeck: Time Out (50th Anniversary Legacy Edition)". All About Jazz. Retrieved December 26, 2011.
  19. ^ Time Out (Media notes). Sony Music Entertainment. 1997.
  20. ^ "Song Of The Day: Dave Brubeck's 'Take Five'|Jazz24".
  21. ^ "Recordings". Dave Brubeck Jazz.
  22. ^ Chilton, Martin (December 5, 2012). "Dave Brubeck, Take Five jazz star, dies 91". Telegraph. Retrieved December 5, 2012.
  23. ^ "Gold & Platinum Searchable Database". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved December 14, 2011. (Search for "Brubeck, Dave".)

External links[edit]