Dave Brubeck, Jazz Music and Time Out

Dave Brubeck, Jazz, and Human Rights


"Tonight we recognize the role that jazz music played during the Cold War in bring people together, people who, according to the polarized political ideologies of East and West, communism and capitalism, were opposed and in conflict. Tonight we acknowledge music as an international force, an international language, as a medium for diplomacy and for mutual cultural exchange. Tonight we pay tribute to the power of music, not merely as an art form, but as a catalyst, as a breaker of barriers, and as a bridge." ~ Andras Simonyi, former Hungarian ambassador to the U.S.

Time Out was the first album to sell over 1,000,000 copies in the jazz genre. This album opened the door for other jazz artist and put a nice big stamp on an already revolutionary and world-changing genre.

"We should send more jazz groups to Poland, the Poles consider jazz an art; it means the free expression of the individual to them." ~Iola Brubeck, Dave Brubeck's wife

The album was originally viewed as an experimental undertaking using instrumental influences from his travels in Europe. Dave Brubeck like most jazz musicians appreciated all types of music and paid attention to the origins of new music he heard. While on the United States sponsored a tour he discovered street musicians playing customary Turkish folk songs that were played in unique 9
8-time signature broken down in 2+2+2+3, that was a traditional sound of Turkey.

Yet it was rare sound timing for American music. It is quite possible that jazz pianist may have found that sound during live jam sessions but it was not something that was common within the jazz and American music community. 

Like most record labels and AR people do, they were hesitant about the possibility of this new sound. Brubeck's jazz group was required to record a conventional album of customary music songs of the American South. It was then that power broker and Columbia president Goddard Lieberson decided to allow and write the check for Time Out. 

Time like many revolutionary albums received several reviews and feedback from the industry. Most of the feedback was negative. It received negative reviews by critics upon its release. But the unexpected success happened when single "Take Five", composed by Paul Desmond, and the one track not written by Dave Brubeck topped the charts. 

"In 1958, The Dave Brubeck Classic Quartet went on a Cold War tour sponsored by the United States State Department to counter the idea that the United States was a wasteland of racial prejudice. Many dictatorship governments banned jazz; it conveyed a feeling of freedom to listeners. By performing, The Dave Brubeck Quartet fought for people's right to freedom."

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