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The Time Out Suite (2020)

“The Time Out Suite” – Music by Dave Brubeck & Paul Desmond, Arranged by Chris Brubeck

People always ask me “What was it like to grow up in the Dave & Iola Brubeck household”? Beyond the usual madcap chaos of 5 siblings, there was the wonderful sound of melodies bouncing off the walls from my father’s piano or from the other legendary musicians he played with for years. I used to crawl under Dad’s grand piano to listen to them rehearse (where I could stay out of the way).  I heard the playful musical explorations of melodic phrases and exotic rhythms that would ultimately evolve into many of the tunes recorded on “Time Out”. This LP by the Dave Brubeck Quartet is considered a masterpiece and it is regarded as a historically impactful LP as it also is one of the best-selling jazz recordings of all time. I have enjoyed more than half a century of hearing these tunes and performing them alongside my father, my brothers, and other musicians. As we enter the 60th anniversary of the release of “Time Out” and the juncture of my dad’s 100th birthday on December 6, 2020,  I felt it was the right time to create a symphonic arrangement that orchestras all across the world could play (even without hiring a jazz quartet) so they could celebrate my father’s creativity and genius.

What made “Time Out” so popular were the innovative tunes and the odd time signatures that were performed by truly incredible musicians — “Blue Rondo a la Turk” in 9/8; “Take Five” in 5/4; “Three to Get Ready and Four to Go” alternating bars of 3/4 and 4/4. “Kathy’s Waltz” (inspired by my little sister twirling through the dining room in her pink tutu) has a marvelously lyrical melody and chord progression that is exceeded only by the beautiful ballad, “Strange Meadowlark”. Not all music lends itself to an orchestral interpretation but in my imagination “Everybody’s Jumping” was just begging to show off the triple tonguing chops of the brass section. I wanted to salute my father, my “jazz uncles” Paul Desmond, Joe Morello and Eugene Wright, and my family who played such lasting and exciting music with Dave Brubeck. Over many years my father and I have enjoyed a terrific friendship with Maestro Peter Jaffe who has helped and encouraged me throughout this gratifying process of premiering a symphonic vehicle to salute my father’s remarkable compositions. Since I wrote this Suite, I also enjoyed the thrill of listening to newly discovered alternate takes from the original 1959 recording sessions. A new recording we call “Time OutTakes” is being released December 4, 2020, right before Dad’s birthday. It’s very exciting to hear the famous tunes developed with completely different and brilliant improvised solos.

Chris Brubeck
November, 2020


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  • 2 Flutes
  • Piccolo
  • 2 Oboes
  • 2 Clarinets in Bb
  • 2 Bassoons
  • 4 Horns in F
  • 3 Trumpets in Bb
  • 3 Trombones (3rd is Bass Trombone)
  • Timpani
  • Percussion: Tambourine, Clay Drum (or equivalent ethnic drum such as a Hi Bongo or Hi tuned Roto Tom), Vibraphone, Cymbal, Triangle, Bass Drum, Piatti, Suspended Cymbal, Glockenspiel, Xylophone, Snare Drum
  • Drum Set
  • Piano
  • Violins
  • Violas
  • Violoncelli
  • Contrabasses

Program Notes

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Listen to the Stockton Symphony's world premiere of 'The Time Out Suite' on NPR's Performance Today:

Chris Brubeck’s ‘The Time Out Suite’ to debut at Stockton Symphony’s Tributes concert: https://www.recordnet.com/news/20200118/chris-brubecks-the-time-out-suite-to-debut-at-stockton-symphonys-tributes-concert

Stockton Symphony's world premiere of 'The Time Out Suite' on NPR this week: