Listen online to a selection of recordings by Brubeck in a Tribute to Dave Brubeck by Liz Dutton (Alexander Street Press Music Editor).
Brubeck’s 1959 album Time Out became the first million-selling jazz record of the modern era, as songs Take Five and Blue Rondo a la Turk defied the indifference of critics to become classics in the genre.
Jazz Goes to College in 1954 sold more than 100,000 copies and led to Brubeck becoming the first jazz musician ever to appear on the cover of Time magazine.
Many critics felt his offbeat music did not swing the way jazz should, yet the magazine cover made him a household name and paved the way for the success of Time Out, which used rhythms unusual to jazz that Brubeck had heard in his travels around the globe. The album included the best selling track “Take Five” written by alto saxophonist Paul Desmond and also featured pioneering drummer Joe Morello. The album hit the top of both the jazz and popular music charts. The group sold millions of records before disbanding in 1967.