The Dave Brubeck Quartet – Time Out – Our Shootout Winner from 2011

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More Time Out


A distinguished member of the Better Records Jazz Hall of Fame.

STUNNING A+++ SOUND AND QUIET VINYL ON BOTH SIDES! Breathtakingly spacious and transparent, this copy has the big three-dimensional soundstage that makes this record such a joy to listen to. The piano has weight and heft, the drums are big and dynamic, and everything is relaxed and sweet — in short, this copy does everything we want it to.

Listen to the drums on Everybody’s Jumpin’ . This album was recorded on a big sound stage and there is a HUGE room which can clearly be heard surrounding the drum kit. Add to that that some of the drums are in the left channel and some of the drums are in the right channel and you have one big drum kit — exactly the way it was intended to sound.

Stereo Versus Mono 

The “stereo” qualities come at a price on many copies. There is a mic directly in front of one of the cymbals that makes it really jump out of the speakers, but how come the rest of the drums are mostly in the center much farther back in the studio? How long can this guy’s arms be? And the other cymbal he uses, heard in the left channel, seems only to be picked up with that same mic, so it sounds ten feet behind the “front” one. These qualities screw up the sense of a combo playing together in the same room at the same time.

The mono has no such problems; these guys are all together, musically and spatially. The bad mono copies have them stuck way back in the studio, all piled on top of each other. This is the mono sound we’ve never liked, but so many mono fans seem to have no problem with it. (The Beatles records in mono, contrary to what some audiophiles might think, never have the kind of presence, energy and resolution of the best stereo copies. If your stereo cannot resolve all the information on the tape, sure, twin-track stereo sound ends up stuck in the two speakers, hard left and hard right, with nothing but a hole in the middle. But there is a ton of information spreading into the middle when we play those records over here, and nothing feels stuck in the speakers. It is our contention that the best equipment, properly tweaked, can show you a world of audio information that exists on the stereo pressings that the mono mixes only hint at. But I digress.)

The Classic — Another We Was Wrong

For an earlier shootout for this record, way back in October of 2007, we took the opportunity to play the Classic Records 200 gram pressing against some of our hot copies. Maybe we got a bad one, who knows, but that record did not sound remotely as good as the real thing (6 eye or 360, both can be quite good). The piano sounded thin and hard, which was quite unexpected given the fact that we used to consider the Classic LP one of their few winners and actually recommended it.

As we said in our shootout: “We dropped the needle on the Classic reissue to see how it stacked up against a serious pressing. Suffice it to say, the real Time Out magic isn’t going to be found on any heavy vinyl reissue!”

Which seems to hold true for practically every Heavy Vinyl reissue we play.


Side One

Blue Rondo A La Turk
Strange Meadow Lark
Take Five

Side Two

Three To Get Ready
Kathy’s Waltz
Everybody’s Jumpin’
Pick Up Sticks

AMG Review

Dave Brubeck’s defining masterpiece, Time Out is one of the most rhythmically innovative albums in jazz history, the first to consciously explore time signaturesoutside of the standard 4/4 beat or 3/4 waltz time it really is sophisticated music, which lends itself to cerebral appreciation, yet never stops swinging. Countless other musicians built on its pioneering experiments, yet it’s amazingly accessible for all its advanced thinking, a rare feat in any art form. This belongs in even the most rudimentary jazz collection.