The Dave Brubeck Quartet ‎– Countdown Time In Outer Space

Music On Vinyl ‎– MOVLP430, Columbia ‎– CS 8575
Vinyl, LP, Album, Stereo, Reissue, 180 Gram

Tracklist Hide Credits

A1 Countdown
Written-By – D. Brubeck*
A2 Eleven Four
Written-By – P. Desmond*
A3 Why Phillis
Written-By – E. Wright*
A4 Someday My Prince Will Come
Written-By – F.E. Churchill*, L. Morey*
A5 Castilian Blues
Written-By – D. Brubeck*
B1 Castilian Drums
Written-By – D. Brubeck*
B2 Fast Life
Written-By – D. Brubeck*
B3 Waltz Limp
Written-By – D. Brubeck*
B4 Three's A Crowd
Written-By – D. Brubeck*
B5 Danse Duet
Written-By – D. Brubeck*
B6 Back To Earth
Written-By – D. Brubeck*

Companies, etc.


The LP comes in a paper + clear poly inner sleeve and a plastic outer sleeve with a label stuck on it:

"Music On Vinyl
Classic Album
180 gram audiophile vinyl pressing".

The image on the front cover:
Franz Kline, "Orange And Black Wall," 1959, Collection of Mr. & Mrs. Robert C. Scull, Courtesy of Sidney Janis Gallery.

Barcode and Other Identifiers

  • Barcode: 8713748982843
  • Matrix / Runout (Side A): 90832 1A MOVLP 430
  • Matrix / Runout (Side B): 90832 1B MOVLP 430
  • Rights Society: BIEM/STEMRA



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February 4, 2019

While many would like to see Countdown - Time In Outer Space as another in a series of conceptual events where Brubeck and his quartet would transport listeners across the galaxy and dance us under a blanket of stars with their dynamic measured meters and visionary polytonality, when push comes to shove, Countdown is very boogie woogie, laced with piano strides that will instantly bring to mind the likes of the great Teddy Wilson and Earl Hines. That being said, this wasn’t a resoundingly new event, as much of the music making up this body of work was pulled together from outtakes and extended sessions from Brubeck’s Time Further Out sessions … meaning that there’s really nothing new here from Dave as far as this concept is concerned, where already available material was simply packaged as the ‘next’ album.

As the album unfolded, complete with dynamic drumming, suggesting the feeling of rumbling engines set for intimate liftoff, I was keenly taken with the idea that this piece was to be suggestive of a trip into space, featuring the liftoff, breaking free of gravity’s field, and then the free floating buoyant musical bound into the nether regions of our solar system and beyond. Instead, the notion created by the title was just that, a reference to the space race that captivated America during these years, where the music could have referenced anything, with a title that meant nothing.

But all that is neither here nor there, as it’s the music that’s most important. So, that being said, let me get this off my chest first, as I’ve never been one who felt that the drums should be featured as a soloing instrument, and there are a lot of drums front and center on the outing. With that out of the way, I would suggest that Brubeck has always been about time and timing, particularly alternatives to the standard and expected 4/4, and that’s what it’s all about when it comes to Dave Brubeck, pushing the 4/4. This time signature has been kind to Dave and he’s been its most eloquent emissary. Though on Countdown, with this in the liner notes, “From the beginning, jazz has felt constrained in the 4 and the overleaping of bar lines along with the pushing at metric barriers being as persistent as the struggle to extend harmonic conception beyond the 1, 4, 5 progression.” With that in mind, Brubeck as always pushed for more both harmonically and rhythmically, diving in on the 4 and surfacing on the angle, playing 3’s agains the 4. While the music is perhaps not original and created for this record, it is rewarding, filled with potentially dangerous and difficult time signatures that include the 11/4, one that on face value would seem not to work, yet it does, with an almost effortless ease here, with each instrument playing to its own rhythm, where in so doing, all of this separateness manages to unify, creating a sonic whole that is a light handed endlessly swirling intoxication that comes off as very satisfying and rewarding.

*** I’ve become aware, with additional albums by Dave Brubeck coming into my collection, that I actually don’t need his entire catalog, where all that’s necessary are perhaps three or four of his best recordings, as his records seem to become redundant, where there’s no interplay from record to record, where you come to know what you expect from Dave and he delivers it over and over again. Perhaps the one thing that separates Brubeck’s records, is when you jumped into his groove, as that initial outing will either take you forward or backward for a couple of releases before you too realize that you’ve already got all the Dave Brubeck you’ll ever need, and are happy to live with those albums.

Review by Jenell Kesler