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More Brubeck in 5/4: Castilian Blues (live)

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My favorite Brubeck tune of all time, "Castilian Blues" is from Brubeck's third time-change album, following the ground-breaking Time Out and its signature track, "Take Five".

The album version, which I can't find on the Tubes, has the sweetest Paul Desmond solo in the world (seriously). This live-for-TV version has a killer drum solo. (Imagine drumming free-lance in 5/4. No wonder Brubeck says in his intro that the group had to work up to this stuff.)


If you want to count along, it's not hard. The 5 beats are divided 3 + 2 through most of the piece. The bass player lays down a consistent ground rhythm to keep everyone oriented. When Eugene Wright is in the shot, listen to his beat. Everyone else is listening to him, including the drummer, Joe Morello, who almost flies away near the end of his solo.

Advanced project for music students: Listen for the use of a minor second as a three-beat harmony in the last phrase (it's the "clunk" Chopsticks-like accompaniment you hear briefly as two next-door keys are played at the same time). Nicely written — that's part of the composition, not the improvisation.

(And if anyone finds a YouTube-like link to the album version, please post it in the comment. I'd like to put it up for contrast — with credit, of course. My thanks!)


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