PLAY IT LIKE A PRO™
About TAKE FIVE
This is Douglas Niedt's outstanding arrangement of the great jazz standard by Paul Desmond, made famous by the Dave Brubeck Quartet. This fingerstyle arrangement can be played on a nylon-string classical guitar, acoustic, or steel-string electric guitar. For intermediate to advanced players.
The Story Behind Take Five
A common misconception should be noted. If an Internet search is made of “Take 5” or “Take Five”, one will find many references to “Brubeck Take 5”, “Dave Brubeck Take 5”, “Take Five by Dave Brubeck”, or “Dave Brubeck’s Take Five”. Those references are incorrect. The composer of Take 5 was the alto sax player, Paul Desmond. Dave Brubeck was not the composer. Brubeck played the piano on the tune. And the group that recorded and made Take 5 famous was named the Dave Brubeck Quartet. But again, Paul Desmond was the composer, not Dave Brubeck.
Take Five is a jazz piece written by Paul Desmond and performed by The Dave Brubeck Quartet on their 1959 album Time Out. Recorded at Columbia's 30th Street Studios in New York City on June 25, July 1, and August 18, 1959, this piece became one of the group's best-known records, famous for its distinctive, catchy saxophone melody and use of the unusual quintuple (5/4) time, from which its name is derived. While Take Five was not the first jazz composition to use this meter, it was one of the first in the United States to achieve mainstream significance, reaching number five on Billboard's Adult Contemporary Singles chart.
Take Five was re-recorded and performed live multiple times by The Dave Brubeck Quartet throughout the group's career. (Because Take Five became the Dave Brubeck Quartet’s signature tune, it is often wrongly assumed that it was written by Dave Brubeck.) In addition, there have been various covers of the piece, including one by Swedish singer Monica Zetterlund in 1962 and a dub version by King Tubby,released posthumously in 2002. Some versions also feature lyrics, including a 1961 recording with lyrics written by Dave Brubeck and his wife Iola, sung by Carmen McRae. Al Jarreau performed an unusual and outstanding Scat version of the song in Germany in 1976. Take Five has also been included in countless movies and television soundtracks, and still receives significant radio play.
Upon his death in 1977, Desmond left the rights to royalties for performances and compositions, including Take Five, to the American Red Cross, which has since received combined royalties of approximately $100,000 per year.