Joe Morello Said It


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Joe Morello, long-time drummer in the Dave Brubeck Quartet, died on March 12. He was 82.

In Doug Ramsey's superb book, Take Five: The Public and Private Lives of Paul Desmond, Doug writes of the song Take Five's origin: “Morello said that in concert he used to go into 5/4 time in the drum break of a Brubeck piece called Sounds of the Loop, which the group recorded in 1956 on its album Jazz Impressions of the USA."

Doug then quoted Morello:

“I'd just mess around in 5, go from 5/4 to 7/4, and I guess they hadn't heard that kind of thing before, so I kept saying, 'Come on Dave, why don't you write something in 5/4?' He never did, so Paul said one night, 'I'll write something.' We were rehearsing up at Dave's house one time, and Paul came in with that. So we recorded the thing in the studio at Columbia, and I think it was the first take or the second take, and Dave was playing the vamp. I hear it every day somewhere, so it was a very lucky thing. It was my idea." 

JazzWax note: You'll find Doug Ramsey's Take Five: The Public and Private Lives of Paul Desmond here. This coffee-table sized book is loaded with photos and is a must own—especially if you dig Desmond and the Dave Brubeck Quartet.

JazzWax clip: I could offer you countless clips of solos by Morello on Take Five. Instead, check out this clip of Morello working the brushes...

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This story appears courtesy of JazzWax by Marc Myers.
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