Listening to The Dave Brubeck Quartet’s 1959 album “Time Out”, it’s hard to believe that their style of jazz was once considered to be inaccessibly out of the mainstream because of Brubeck’s consistent use of unusual time signatures. The quartet had a hard time getting booked to play even small clubs that seated less than fifty people because a lot of owners felt Brubeck’s style was just too complex for people to get. Music critics felt the same and totally dissed “Time Out” when it was released.
As it turned out, it was the critics and club owners that didn’t get it.
“Time Out” sold over 50 thousand copies shortly after its initial release and eventually sold over a million, making it one of the best-selling jazz albums of all time. It also nearly topped Billboard’s pop album charts stopping just short at #2.
After the success of “Time Out” the Dave Brubeck Quartet no longer had to worry about filling clubs that seated fifty people. The quartet started playing venues that seated a thousand or more.
In short, “Time Out” firmly founded Dave Brubeck’s reputation as a jazz pioneer and innovator who forever changed how jazz music is played and interpreted.