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Time In

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Album Review

Time In, issued in 1965, was the last of pianist and composer Dave Brubeck's "Time" recordings, and one of his most musically adventurous. Gone are the moody, silky textures and glissando moves of Time Out, or Time Further Out. In fact, of all the "Time" recordings, this is the least commercial and, in places, almost hard bop-oriented among them. This set goes beyond the entire West Coast idea as well. That's not to say there are no ballads -""Softly, William, Softly"" is one of the most gorgeous ballads Brubeck ever composed, with a memorable solo by Paul Desmond, who plays a slow, bluesy articulation over the pianist's augmented harmonic changes. But there's so much more. The title track has Stravinsky-esque chords that introduce a delicate theme, which disintegrates into a dissonant swing. There is also Brubeck variation on "Frankie and Johnnie," on "He Done Her Wrong." This track comes charging out of the box à la the Ramsey Lewis trio in a fit of pure one-four-five groove, with Desmond playing ostinato throughout the chorus. And here, Brubeck shows his love of tradition: Inside his solo, comprised of chords and striated intervallic figures that are just off the harmonic series, he never leaves the original behind; it is always readily evoked at any moment in the tune. The set closes with "Cassandra," a piece with sleight-of-hand rhythms and fleet soloing by the pianist and Desmond. Brubeck himself comes out of the melody with a series of 16th notes that blaze into 32nds before he comes back to the changes for Desmond. All the while, Joe Morello is triple-timing the band even in the slower passages just to keep the pulse on target as Gene Wright and Brubeck move all around the time figures to create a sense of space around Desmond's solo. Though it is seldom celebrated as such, this is one of Brubeck's finest moments on Columbia.

Biography

Born: 06 December 1920 in Concord, CA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

In the 1950s and '60s, few American jazz artists were as influential, and fewer still were as popular, as Dave Brubeck. At a time when the cooler sounds of West Coast jazz began to dominate the public face of the music, Brubeck proved there was an audience for the style far beyond the confines of the in-crowd, and with his emphasis on unusual time signatures and adventurous tonalities, Brubeck showed that ambitious and challenging music could still be accessible. And as rock & roll began to dominate...
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