Carmen McRae with the Dave Brubeck Quartet 


Take Five is a jazz standard composed by Paul Desmond and originally recorded by the Dave Brubeck Quartet for its 1959 album Time Out. Made at Columbia Records’ 30th Street Studio in New York City on July 1, 1959, two years later it became an unlikely hit and the biggest-selling jazz single ever. Revived since in numerous movie and television soundtracks, it still receives significant radio airplay.

Written in the key of E♭ minor, the piece is known for its distinctive two-chord piano vamp; catchy blues-scale saxophone melody; inventive, jolting drum solo; and unusual quintuple (5/4) time, from which its name is derived.

Other versions include lyrics, such as the one recorded in 1961 by Dave Brubeck and his wife Iola, sung by Carmen McRae, as well as a live version by Al Jarreau in 1997. It has also been included in countless films and soundtracks from television and even continues to receive quite a reception on the radio.

Carmen McRae with the Dave Brubeck Quartet