• Dave Brubeck in his early years

Few jazz artists have been as maligned as much as pianist, composer, and bandleader Dave Brubeck. Judging from my years working in record shops, his iconic album Time Out (Columbia), which contains the bona fide hit “Take Five,” was a jazz record that people who didn’t care much about jazz tended to own. He became known as the guy who used wacky time signatures—usually five, seven, or nine beats to the bar—though despite his flexibility with meter, he was pretty stiff when it came to swing.