Pick up Sticks
More than just a brilliant experiment in grafting foreign time signatures to modern jazz, Time Out features superb songs, an era-defining hit ("Take Five") and the overriding rush of pure joy. It was a surprise crossover smash that helped free jazz's boundaries. Pianist Dave Brubeck recorded the majority of the tunes, while droll sax master Paul Desmond said he wrote "Take Five" so he could lean back and smoke during the drum solo. This 50th anniversary edition adds a live concert that cements a perfectly balanced swing and the avant-garde with crowd-pleasing populism. Essential.