Skip

5X5 plus 44 more
June 4, 2011 11:16 PM   Subscribe

Take Five, written by Paul Desmond and recorded at Sachal Studios, Lahore, Pakistan. Some other cover versions: By a 12 year old harpist Benjamin Creighton Griffiths. By The Tempo Vivace string quartet. Live at concert by Azerbaijani singer Aziza Mustafa Zadeh. By the Swedish singer Monica Zetterlund (1962)

(Not that anybody can listen to it that many times, but) here is a playlist of 44 YouTube covers of the same.
From wikipedia: "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"
posted by growabrain (29 comments total) 31 users marked this as a favorite

 
There is floating around there some pop version of Take Five - in 4. I heard it and I'm sure. It was awful - they basically did it by adding three empty beats to each bar (to get 8). A travesty!
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 11:44 PM on June 4, 2011


lupus_yonderboy, you aren't referring to this version by Tito Puente, are you?
posted by KChasm at 12:20 AM on June 5, 2011


There is floating around there some pop version of Take Five - in 4. ... A travesty!

Totally. Glad I've never heard it. Likewise, check what they did to Lalo Schifrin's excellent theme to the TV show Mission: Impossible. The movie soundtrack versions played it in its original 5/4 for a few bars, then shift it into a totally stupid, clunky 4/4 version. Lame lame lame.

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"

That's cool. Good on him!

You know, there was another jazz 5/4 tune that came along right about the same time as Take Five: it's called Driva Man, from Max Roach's bold civil rights-era statement We Insist. It's a world away from the light, easy-breezy mood of Take Five. Abbey Lincoln sang the unusually (for the period) bold and controversial lyrics with stunning conviction and power. The crack of the boss man's whip against a black man's back marks the time throughout.

Here's an amazing live performance of it, astonishingly powerful.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 12:33 AM on June 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


lupus_yonderboy, you aren't referring to this version by Tito Puente, are you?

If he is, I wouldn't agree with an assessment of this one as being "awful". I think Puente's arrangement is very inventive and the whole thing is a pretty cool and playful take on take Five.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 12:36 AM on June 5, 2011


This tabla player is fantastic. The orchestra is rightly bored.
posted by phenylphenol at 12:45 AM on June 5, 2011


A lot of people don't know that Desmond followed up Take Five with Take Ten a few years later. A while back Tom Moon was on All Songs Considered and he made the case that it's better than the original.
posted by abcde at 12:54 AM on June 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


This tabla player is fantastic.

He's certainly very fast!

The orchestra is rightly bored.

I dunno, they don't strike me as looking particularly more bored than any orchestra members generally do. I mean, it's usually kinda like "it's a job, you know?" with the string section, isn't it?

The sitar player is one string-bendy dude. I like that!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 1:05 AM on June 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Learn something new every day. I had always assumed Brubeck was the composer. Interesting post. Cool videos.
posted by marsha56 at 1:13 AM on June 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


Heh yeah.. y'all aren't the only idiots who aren't impressed by Tito Puente... as a musician I'm really tired of how everyone pretends he is the best thing to hit Latin music since sliced bread. I mean, what a pathetic "cash-in".. sounds exactly the same as any other original tune OR cover he ever put out-
posted by ReeMonster at 1:20 AM on June 5, 2011


Learn something new every day. I had always assumed Brubeck was the composer.

Well, he co-wrote (along with his wife, Iola) some lyrics for the song. They're kind of awful, though.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 1:40 AM on June 5, 2011


this is reminiscent of the track "Our Time Of Parting" by Dave Brubeck and Darius Brubeck with tablaist Gottuvâdyam - track 5 on "Summit Sessions" 1971.
posted by shift8 at 2:04 AM on June 5, 2011


A little more info on the 12 year old harp player here. Seems he's well known in the UK has done hundreds on concerts and donates the proceeds to charity...

Thanks for the links...
posted by tomswift at 2:44 AM on June 5, 2011


I heard the Pakistani version on Radio 3 once but couldn't find it, so thanks for this! I like it because I think the tabla player (Ballu Kahn) plays it as something like 20/24 rather than 5/4.
posted by yoHighness at 2:46 AM on June 5, 2011


After hearing Take Five for the first time, I wondered why more bands don't keep the rhythm section playing during drum solos.
posted by kersplunk at 7:03 AM on June 5, 2011


Tito Puente played anything.

Great post!
posted by goalyeehah at 7:12 AM on June 5, 2011


After hearing Take Five for the first time, I wondered why more bands don't keep the rhythm section playing during drum solos.

Good point. May well be, in many cases, that the band just can't really keep good time on their own, for a drummer to solo over. In effect, you'd be asking guitarists and keyboardists and such to be the drummer for a little while. Many of them just wouldn't be up for the job.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:16 AM on June 5, 2011


Flapjax: That Driva Man is a great track. The Coleman Hawkins solo is unlike anything I've heard him play. In the live version, the orchestration with tambourine, double bass and voice is so effective and evocative.
posted by Jode at 7:27 AM on June 5, 2011


Wow, that harp version. Not only does Benjamin manage to get a very full and resonant sound out of the harp, he manages to execute several turns / mordants without any buzzing. Any kind of ornamentation that requires you to rapidly re-pluck a string that is already vibrating is *really* hard to pull off on the harp, so my hats off to him.
posted by LMGM at 7:36 AM on June 5, 2011


I'm sure it wasn't the Tito Puente (can't listen to it right now) - it was extremely bland and colourless.

> May well be, in many cases, that the band just can't really keep good time on their own, for a drummer to solo over.

First, do remember the other part of the rhythm section, the bassist is still playing! And these days, most musicians have pretty good time, we're playing with a lot of machines.

No, the issue is that the drummer nearly always wants to speed up and slow down, but more, not play complete bars, so it's not obvious what to do.

Here's another great drum solo by Joe Morello - this is the studio recording, but the last second is covered with applause dubbed in, so you can't hear what you can hear on the record, Morello cracking up because he was so surprised they pulled off the ending!
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 7:39 AM on June 5, 2011


There's also Val Bennett's The Russians Are Coming. Only the intro is in 5.
posted by Jode at 7:45 AM on June 5, 2011


The sitar and tabla are great, but they should have dumped the string section for one good fiddle player and bassist.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 7:54 AM on June 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Simpsons did it, featuring Ralph on the Fisher-Price wheeled corn popper.
posted by 445supermag at 8:23 AM on June 5, 2011


I like the String Cheese Incident version.
posted by Perplexity at 9:33 AM on June 5, 2011


Somehow, my husband has never heard Take Five before.

(I understand in some jurisdictions this is grounds for divorce.)
posted by subbes at 11:45 AM on June 5, 2011


I agree with CheeseDigestsAll. he nails the problem. Even though the string section is very tight, just the "sectional" nature of the sound makes the riff heavy, lumbering.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:34 PM on June 5, 2011


And don't forget this version, mashed-up with Radiohead.
posted by poq at 5:13 PM on June 5, 2011


This first time I was introduced to this song was in an episode of West Wing. As is often the case whenever I hear it I always think of the episode. Like whenever I eat madeleines I think of Combray.
posted by oxford blue at 8:16 PM on June 5, 2011


I like this.
posted by transient at 9:46 PM on June 5, 2011


For me, it's the theme song for Secret Life of Machines.
posted by fritley at 7:11 PM on June 6, 2011


« Older Buy Marilyn's dress from The Seven Year Itch!*...   |   "Crazy Shots" Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post