Take Five – 1990s

Tito Puente

A rather unusual Latinized version of the Dave Brubeck/Paul Desmond classic

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Tito Puente (1923-2000) was one of the leaders and pacesetters of Latin music for a half-century.

To his credit, he almost always played music that crossed over into jazz, being a master of Afro-Cuban jazz while infusing the music with his own timbales and occasional vibes playing.

Paul Desmond’s “Take Five” became an unlikely hit in 1959 and helped popularize the idea of playing in different time signatures.

Ironically in this version performed by Tito Puente band, despite the polyrhythms and constant reference to the original rhythmic vamp played by Brubeck, the music is played in 4/4 rather than 5/4 time.

The tenor and trumpet solos (not to mention Puente’s timbales playing) add to the fire of the music, making this a rather unique interpretation of a song that has been performed a countless number of times.

-Scott Yanow


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