Brubeck vs. Jones??? Drums vs. Sax???

One of my all time favorite songs is Take Five. Which version? Heck, I've got the ear that wanders its way to the saxophone...but the original by Dave Brubeck puts up a mean fight.

Written by Paul Desmond and played by The Dave Brubeck Quartet in 1959 on their Time Out album, Take Five is famous for its catchy saxophone melody and use of the quintuple (5/4) time (or more correctly 3+2/4), which was an irregular meter. This meter is what helped the group decide on the track's name. It's been said by some jazz experts that Take Five was originally written for a drums solo. Below is a video of The Dave Brubeck Quartet, and you can really see/hear the mastery of Joe Morello on the drums.

As mentioned, Take Five has been made over countless times. Everyone from Chet Atkins to George Benson to Grover Washington Jr. and even The Specials remade this classic tune. For me, my favorite cover has got to be Quincy Jone's 1983 rendition. Jones heavily emphasized the sound of the saxophone (such a beautiful thing) and gave Take Five such a smooth sound.

These are just two examples of how different a song can sound. You take a melody, add a twist, emphasize something different, and you get magic all over again! I personally enjoy both versions. I think the originality of Desmond's and Brubeck's version is timeless and unique, while Jones' version is sleek and suave. You be the judge and decide which one catches your attention. This last video is really cool. It's a mix or "mash up" of Radiohead's 15 Steps to the background music of Take Five. Enjoy!!!!! :D

Takin' Five...

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