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  • 12.05.12

The 5 Most Innovative Takes On Dave Brubeck’s “Take Five”

Jazz pioneer and smooth innovator Dave Brubeck died on Dec. 5 at the age of 91. His most notable song, “Take Five,” still lives everywhere.

The 5 Most Innovative Takes On Dave Brubeck’s “Take Five”

If you’ve never intentionally listened to jazz or never quite understood how to tap your foot to a 5/4 time signature, you still know Dave Brubeck’s “Take Five.” The man brought odd time signatures to elevators and medical professionals’ waiting rooms everywhere. But he also inspired a diverse array of artists who covered his classic. Here are some of the most notable.

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1. Stevie Wonder At The North Sea Jazz Fest, November 2010

He did it on harmonica!

2. King Tubby

There are straight up versions of the late King Tubby’s “Take 5” cover, but none beat the king of dub’s dub version from his 1970s album Declaration of Dub. Warning: May cause munchies.

3. Aziza Mustafa Zadeh

Known as “The “Princess of Jazz,” the Azerbaijani singer, pianist and composer married Brubeck’s classic with her country’s own traditional form of improv. It’s weird!

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4. The Portland Cello Project

Saddest. Version. Ever.

5. Lisa Simpson And Jazzy And The Pussycats

In episode two of the 18th season of the Simpsons, called “Jazzy and the Puyssycats,” Bart discovers his inner drummer and joins Lisa on stage for the historic cover.
It’s tough to find an online version of this rare performance. At least in English. But the Spanish version is almost funnier.

[Image: Wikimedia]

About the author

Tyler Gray is the former Editorial Director of Fast Company and co-author of the book The Sonic Boom: How Sound Transforms the Way We Think, Feel and Buy (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), out in fall 2014. He previously authored The Hit Charade for HarperCollins and has written for The New York Times, SPIN, Blender, Esquire, and others.

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