AOTY 2023
Dave Brubeck - Time Out
Apr 17, 2020
The History of the Albums - n° 128
[I invite you to read my previous reviews in the list below, of the 4 Jazz classics of the year 59. By the same token, you'll find my list of my best jazz albums of the '50s!]

If you've been following my previous reviews, I mentioned that there were 4 wonderful jazz albums that were among the best in history, here is the last one: Time Out by The Dave Brubeck Quartet. At the dawn of the 60's, incredible horizons of the very beautiful Jazz decade to come, it is important to insist again that in 1959, except for Jazz, all the other musical genres Rock n Roll, R&B, Traditional Pop etc... know a slight slackening, especially at the innovation level and it is very clearly seen when we make the list of the best albums of the year. Although since the second half of the 50's "instrumental" Jazz has been very dominant, in 1959 it is omnipresent, so much so that 6 of the best albums of the year in my opinion are pure Jazz, without vocals. Moreover these famous 4 classics are all dissociable one from the other, each one presenting enormous differences. After seeing the modal style, the post-bop/hard bop then the avant-garde/free jazz, we will now tackle one of the best Cool Jazz albums of all time. But first of all, here's a little presentation of a real legend, pianist and composer Dave Brubeck. Born in 1920 in California, if you didn't know his name, you most probably know Take Five, cult jazz standards. Dave Brubeck is a genius who has known almost all the evolutions of Jazz during his career that spans about 70 years. Although he has also come closer to the Post-Bop style, he has remained rather faithful to the West Coast Jazz movement, the delicious and relaxing Cool Jazz. He managed to impose his standards, through his innovations, his atypical techniques and his "sound" often described as timeless.
This is the first time I speak to him in my list, however his first recording dates back to 1949 and during his 10 years Dave Brubeck was already very important on the West Coast Jazz scene. The amazing thing is that although he had a mother who was a pianist and later studied music, he didn't really want to make it his vocation. The worst part of it is that he couldn't really read musical notation. Yet he always remained in this field, he even took other music lessons, until he finally got noticed and finally made it his career. Although it's not really precise, he would have started recording in 1946 in octet formation with Paul Desmond and Cal Tjader, but the first official release dates from 1949 in trio formation with Blue Moon / Tea For Two and Laura / Indiana. At the beginning of the 50's, he formed his famous quartet, again with Paul Desmond and started to form in clubs in parallel with some album releases. To put it in context, the fashionable trends at that time were still of course bebop and big bands, especially on the East side and in the West the Cool Jazz current was starting to really take off. It was a very popular jazz style that was selling very well unlike the others and unfortunately also because it was "white", which allowed it to make a good living from it. Among the great handful of albums released before Time Out, there are the delicious Live albums Jazz at Oberlin (1953), Jazz Goes to College (1954) and Jazz at the College of the Pacific (1954) which remain a great Cool Jazz reference.
Although the albums I mentioned before were excellent projects, it wasn't until the Columbia era, when he signed in 1957, that he really hit the big time, especially with Time Out, in the qualitative sense. Always accompanied by Paul Desmond, by Eugene Wright (bass) who recently arrived and who only participated in his previous album Gone with the Wind, and Joe Morello (drums), on several dates in the summer of '59, Dave Brubeck and his team will record a masterpiece capable of defying the air of time. One has to imagine the challenge he has achieved, that is to say to make a Cool Jazz album of very high level, reaching almost perfection, then Cool Jazz had started for a few years now not really proposing anything new and losing a bit of its interest made to other younger currents. Rather than focusing on musical innovation in the sense of creating a new musical style (which is obviously very innovative in other aspects), he has therefore mainly focused through his compositions and that of Paul Desmond, on the concept of making his music timeless through what is called in music: time signature. But that's not all, Cool Jazz is often crudely characterized by the fact that it is an atmospheric music that aims at blossoming and well-being through warm and relaxed sounds, here the quartet went even further making Cool Jazz much more alive, touching and deep. In short, Time Out is a dimensional Cool Jazz album with multiple layers to explore. Without confining itself to the existing basics in this style, Brubeck has added an aesthetic that sometimes comes close to classical music, bringing sounds that can be found in folk, world music and blues. Honestly, I find it so sensational that I sometimes feel it's unreal when you think it was released in 1959. Without other measures, each TIme Out composition deserves to have its own independent review, it's simply grandiose

Related album I've reviewed:
> 1959 : Miles Davis – Kind of Blue
> 1959 : Charles Mingus - Mingus Ah Um
> 1959 : Ornette Coleman - The Shape of Jazz to Come

My list of the best jazz albums of the 50's – Top 100 (no vocal include):
01 // Miles Davis : Kind Of Blues
02 // Ornette Coleman : The Shape of Jazz to Come
03 // John Coltrane : Blue Train
04 // Charles Mingus : Ah Um
05 // The Dave Brubeck : Time Out
06 // Cannonball Adderley - Somethin
07 // Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers - Moanin'
08 // Thelonious Monk : Brillant Corners
09 // Miles Davis : 'Round About Midnight
10 // Sonny Rollins : Saxophone colossus
11 // Miles Davis : Milestones
12 // Charles Mingus : Pithecanthropus Eretus
13 // Thelonious Monk - Misterioso
14 // Miles Davis - Porgy and Bess
15 // The Quintet : Jazz at Massey Hall
16 // Bill Evans : Everybody Digs Bill Evans
17 // Miles Davis : Birth of the Cool
18 // Ahmad Jamal - But Not for Me: Ahmad Jamal Trio at the Pershing
19 // Bud Powell :The Amazing Bud Powell
20 // Cecil Taylor - Lookin Ahead
21 // Sonny Rollins :Way Out West
22 // Charles Mingus : The Clown
23 // Sonny Clark : Cool Struttin'
24 // Thelonious Monk - Monk's Music
25 // The Ben Webster Quintet : Soulville
26 // Miles Davis - Relaxin
27 // Clifford Brown & Max Roach - Clifford Brown & Max Roach
28 // Thelonious Monk - Genius of Modern Music, Vol. 2
29 // Duke Ellington - Ellington Uptown
30 // Horace Silver - Finger Poppin'
31 //Sun Ra - Jazz in Silhouette
32 // Thelonious Monk :Genius of Modern Music, Vol. 1
33 // Kenny Dorham - Afro-Cuban
34 // The Cats
35 // Lou Donaldson : Blues Walk
36 // Gerry Mulligan - What Is There To Say
37 // Dizzy Gillespie & Charlie Parker - Bird and Diz
38 // Ellington at Newport
39 // Lester Young : Lester Young With The Oscar Peterson Trio
40 // Miles Davis : Miles Ahead
41 // Johnny Griffin : A Blowin' Session
42 // Dizzy Gillespie : At Newport
43 // Ornette Coleman - Something Else!!!!
44 // Dizzy Gillespie : Afro
45 // Paul Desmond : Blues in Time (With Gerry Mulligan)
46 // Count Basie : Atomic
47 // Clifford Jordan And John Gilmore - Blowing In From Chicago
48 // Art Pepper - Art Pepper meets the rhythm section
49 // Stan Getz - For Musicians Only
50 // Clifford Brown & Max Roach - Study in Brown
51 // Kenny Dorham - Quiet Kenny
52 // Erroll Garner - Concert by the Sea
53 // Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers with Thelonious Monk
54 // Wynton Kelly - Kelly Blue
55 // Lee Morgan - The Cooker
56 // Sonny Rollins Plus 4
57 // Thelonious Monk & Sonny Rollins - Thelonious Monk & Sonny Rollins
58 // Curtis Fuller - Blues-ette
59 // Thelonious Alone in San Francisco
60 // Dizzy Gillespie - Sonny Side Up
61 // Blue Mitchell - Blue Soul
62 // Phineas Newborn Jr. - Here Is Phineas
63 // Sonny Rollins - A Night at the Village Vanguard, Vol. 1
64 // The Modern Jazz Quartet - Fontessa
65 // The Dave Brubeck Quartet - Jazz Goes to College
66 // John Coltrane - Soultrane
67 // Paul Chambers - Bass on Top
68 // Duke Ellington - Black brown
69 // Michel Legrand - Legrand Jazz
70 // Oscar Peterson & Ben Webster
71 // Lee Konitz - Subconscious Lee
72 // Sonny Rollins - Tenor Madness
73 // Stan Getz - West Coast Jazz
74 // Coleman Hawkins & Ben Wester - Coleman Hawkins Encounters Ben Webster
75 // Roy Haynes Phineas Newborn & Paul Chambers ‎– We Three
76 // Jackie McLean - New Soil
77 // Thad Jones - The Magnificent Thad Jones
78 // Stan Getz - Stan Getz Plays
79 // Milt Jackson - Wizard of the Vibes
80 // Charlie Parker With Strings
81 // The Art Tatum-Ben Webster Quartet
82 // Jimmie Smith - The Sermon!
83 // Coleman Hawkins - The Hawk Flies High
84 // Louis Smith - Here Comes Louis Smith
85 // Johnny Griffin - Introducing Johnny Griffin
86 // Dizzy Reece - Blues in Trinity
87 // Wes Montgomery - Far Wes
88 // John Coltrane - Coltrane
89 // Cannonball Adderley - Cannonball Adderley Quintet in Chicago
90 // Quincy Jones - The Birth of a Band!
91 // Max Roach - Max Roach + 4
92 // Sonny Rollins, Vol. 2
93 // Lennie Tristano - Tristano
94 // Benny Carter - Jazz Giant
95 // Jimmy Giuffre - Trav'lin' Light
96 // The Chico Hamilton Quintet - Gongs East
97 // Serge Chaloff - Blue Serge
98 // Sonny Rollins - Freedom Suite
99 // The Dave Brubeck Quartet - Jazz at the College of the Pacific
100 // Red Garland - All Mornin' Long

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