Brubeck’s Take Five with Eastern-Western Instruments

Posted December 13th, 2012 at 3:52 pm (UTC+0)
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By Diaa Bekheet

I remember the first time I listened to Dave Brubeck‘s Take Five. It was1986 when a friend invited me to her birthday at a Cairo club. The minute I walked in, the recording of Dave Brubeck’s piano prompted me to whistle and move my body to the tune.


Just a few months after its release in 1959, Take Five became the best-selling jazz single of all time.  It was written by saxophone player Paul Desmond, who was a member of Brubeck’s quartet.

Sachal Jazz: Interpretations of Jazz Standards & Bossa Nova

Sachal Jazz: Interpretations of Jazz Standards & Bossa Nova

When Brubeck died last week, on December 5, just one day before his 92nd birthday, Take Five was the most played piece of music all over the news worldwide. In the Middle East the song was frequently requested by listeners there.

Recently, a Pakistani Muslim Orchestra used Western and Eastern instruments to play Take Five as a tribute to Dave Brubeck.

Sachal Studios Lahore performed Take Five “in memory of Dave Brubeck, an ambassador of peace, a great jazz musician and composer.”

The song is part of the orchestra’s album, Sachal Jazz: Interpretations of Jazz Standards & Bossa Nova, which blends jazz standards, bossa nova, and indo-Pakistan music.

Last month I was scheduled to interview Dave Brubeck, but he couldn’t do it because of his scheduled medical tests. I talked with his producer, manager and arranger, Russell Gloyd, who told me that even in the month before he died, Brubeck “does practice almost every day, and it’s amazing to hear him practice because I’m hearing tunes I’ve never heard in my life.”  So Dave Brubeck –this jazz legend and international icon — was composing right to the end. (mp3 here)


Dave Brubeck has died but his music will live for years and years to come.

The music of Dave Brubeck:


Indo-Pakistan music:

Rez Abbasi’s Jazz & Qawwali Music Mix

Diaa Bekheet
Diaa Bekheet has worked for a host of media outlets, including Radio Cairo in English, ETV News, Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa) and the Associated Press. He joined VOA in Feb. 1989 as an International Broadcaster, hosting a variety of popular news and entertainment shows such as Newshour, Radio Ride Across America, Business Week, and Jazz Club USA. He has interviewed a number of Jazz celebrities, including the legendary Dizzy Gillespie, Ramsey Lewis, Wayne Shorter, and George Benson. Diaa is currently an editor for our main English site,

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