COMPOSERS: Dave Brubeck
PERFORMER: Paul Desmond (as); Dave Brubeck (p); Eugene Wright (b); Joe Morello (d)
CATALOGUE NO: CK 64668 (distr. Sony)
Between 1955 and 1967 the Brubeck quartet was considered by a large section of the public to be the epitome of hip, modern jazz. To jazz critics he was anything but. Brubeck had committed the sin of being successful, something critics hate, and since his style clearly avoided the prevailing hard-bop conception he made an easy target to strafe.
The passage of time hasn’t mollified them, while his recorded output in recent years hasn’t suggested any accusations wide of the mark. Yet Brubeck was an original thinker, hearing the world in a different way to other jazz musicians in the Fifties. He didn’t swing in the conventional way because he didn’t want to and his harmonically dense, percussive, polytonal and polyrhythmic style – years ahead of his time – was an acknowledged influence on Cecil Taylor.
However, Brubeck’s most important contribution to jazz was to move the music beyond the 4/4 stranglehold by fluently improvising in meters from 3/4 to 9/8. Time Further Out was the follow-up to Time Out, which included the 5/4 hit ‘Take Five’. There’s another hit here in the 7/4 ‘Unsquare Dance’ plus yards of delicately woven improvisation by Paul Desmond.
Although an influential album, this is curiously not the best Brubeck – that can be found on the 1963 Carnegie Hall concert that provided the additional tracks reissued here, included to illustrate how fluent the band became in improvising in unusual time signatures. SN