Take Five is probably one of the jazz titles that is best-known to a mass audience. It was composed by Paul Desmond and it appeared on the album Time Out by the Dave Brubeck Quartet. Pianist Brubeck had studied veterinary medicine before turning to music, and in 1949 he formed an octet, and then in 1951 his famous quartet with Paul Desmond playing saxophone. He signed with Columbia in 1954 and built up an excellent reputation, but in 1959 he became famous around the globe thanks to two titles, Take Five and Blue Rondo à la Turk. In France, the singer Claude Nougaro made the quartet’s work popular when he wrote the French lyrics for versions of Three to get ready (adapted as Le jazz et la Java) and Blue Rondo a la Turk (with the title A bout de souffle). Dave Brubeck was “quiet man”, far from the legends and excess often linked with jazz: he would spend six decades in a world where life, and jazz, was “cool.”
The history of music shows us that different kinds and forms follow each other. And that the latest trend overshadows the one that came before it. Today it's difficult to say exactly which trend dominates, as there are so many music currents that overlap and intersect. Mainstream exists no longer. Yet one thing is certain: each music form is built on the music that precedes it. There would be no jazz without classical music, no rock without blues, no rock without jazz, no rap without soul music, no sampling without the riffs of either soul or rock… and therefore, inside each genre you find different chapters in the history of music. And that is why it is so important to understand their origins: they shed the light that is necessary for an understanding of the music born every day.
The richness of jazz lies at the origin of so much music today that it is essential to discover this creative wealth. The Essential Works of Masters of Jazz bring to light those 20th century creations that still exert an influence on the majority of musicians today — whether they are aware of it or not.
The Essential Works of Masters of Jazz gather the fundamental creations of the music of today.