Title: Take Five
Artist: The Dave Brubeck Quartet


Composer: Paul Desmond
Publisher: Desmond Music
CD: Time Out
Label: Columbia
(c) and (p) 1997 Columbia Records/CBS Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Recording Date: 1959
Personnel: Dave Brubeck, piano; Paul Desmond, alto saxophone; Joe Morello, drums; Eugene Wright, bass
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Title: Take Five
Artist: Dave Brubeck
Type of Tune: cool jazz
Tempo: 170 BPM (beats per minute)
Key: Eb Minor
Form: ABA
Devices: 5/4 time
Scales: blues, pentatonic, minor (dorian)
Recurring Patterns: simple two-chord pattern repeated over and over (vamp) provide the accompaniment for the solos
Developmental Techniques: solos are simple, tuneful, and orderly

General Comments:

Take Five, one of the most famous tunes in jazz history, was a huge hit in the late 1950s and early '60s and is still popular today. Dave Brubeck was one of the pioneers of the cool sound and is credited with introducing jazz to a college audience. His music has a laid back feel, drawing upon European classical influences (note the pure, “classical” tone of the alto saxophone). One of the notable features of this tune is the time signature of 5/4, i.e., five beats per measure (most jazz tunes are in 4/4 time). The soloists, rather than playing choruses (i.e., improvising over the form of the tune), solo over a two-chord vamp.