It’s space age music this week on the Vinyl Vault when we hear a 1962 album from the Dave Brubeck Quartet entitled “Countdown Time in Outer Space.” Released just three years after the Brubeck Quartet’s hit album “Time Out,” “Countdown Time in Outer Space” continues Brubeck’s experimentation with time signatures outside the standard jazz 4/4 time.
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The space race with the Soviet Union was on in 1962 and the album title and some of the song titles tied into those then-current events. The album kicks off with “Countdown” featuring dramatic tympany drums evoking a rocket lifting off. The record concludes with “Back to Earth.”
The quartet on the album is the classic lineup with Joe Morello on drums, Eugene Wright on bass, Paul Desmond on sax and, of course, Brubeck at the piano. The group adroitly moves through multiple time dimensions such as 5/4, 7/4, 9/8, 11/4 and finally settling back to 4/4 on the final piece. Overall, “Countdown Time in Outer Space” rivals the more well-known “Time Out” for top-flight playing and compositions.
Join Geoff Anderson on Tuesday, February 28 at 8:30 pm on the Vinyl Vault for some classic Brubeck on KUVO JAZZ, the Oasis in the City.
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