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Countdown—Time in Outer Space is a studio album released by the Dave Brubeck Quartet in 1962 on Columbia LP record CS 8575 (stereo) and CL 1775 (mono).[5] The front cover features the 1959 painting Orange and Black Wall by Franz Kline.[6] In Australia the album appeared on the Coronet label.[7] It was re-released, for the first time in digital format,[8] in 2004 as part of a compact disc collection titled Dave Brubeck: For All Time.[9] It was again released as part of the box set The Dave Brubeck Quartet: the Columbia Studio Albums Collection 1955-1966.[10] Both CD re-releases feature a bonus track titled "Fatha".[11][12]

Countdown—Time in Outer Space
Studio album by
Dave Brubeck Quartet
RecordedMay 3, 1961 - February 12, 1962[1]
GenreCool jazz
ProducerTeo Macero
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic4/5 stars [2]
Louise D. Stone (The Afro-American)4/5 stars [3]
Down Beat4/5 stars[4]



Dedicated to astronaut John Glenn[13] the album was another in a series of concept albums studying the exploration of unusual meters and polytonality within a jazz context.[5] Recorded between May 3, 1961 and February 12, 1962, it was put on tape in many of the same sessions that appear on Time Further Out.[1] Brubeck encouraged the quartet members towards development of new time signatures for this album.[14] The first track, Countdown, is based on a typical "8 to the bar" boogie, stride piano in the manner of Earl Hines or Teddy Wilson,[15] but with two extra notes added in, giving a meter count of 10.[16] AC/DC's song Whole Lotta Rosie has an opening riff directly mimicking this track.[11] Michael Katzif considers the track so smoothly played that some people may be unaware of the unusual time signature.[17] "Eleven Four" uses a pattern of five beats, then two sets of three to create the feel of eleven.[16] In the track "Why Phillis" some players stick to 3/4 time, others adhere to 4/4, while others move between the time signatures. "Someday My Prince Will Come" had been previously recorded by the Quartet, juxtaposing triple and quadruple meters in the album Dave Digs Disney,[18] but the track was re-done on this album to further realize the rhythmic possibilities of poly-rhythm, including adding a rhythm of 2/4 to the mix.[16] "Castilian Blues" and "Castilian Drums" have time signatures of 5/4, the latter being unsurprisingly a percussion showpiece.[16] The next four tracks, "Fast Life," "Waltz Limp," "Three's a Crowd," and "Danse Duet" were written for a ballet entitled "Maiden in the Tower." Different characters in the performance have themes with different time signatures, and as they interact the interplay and contrasts of the various rhythms are paraded.[16] The album's final track, as originally issued, is a standard blues in 4/4 time, hence the title "Back to Earth."[16]


On release, Billboard expected the album to be "another smash" because of the "persuasive and exciting performances".[5] Both the monaural and stereo version appeared on the respective Billboard charts.[19] Countdown's first appearance on the Billboard chart was on June 16, 1962. It reached a peak position of No. 24 and remained on the chart for 21 weeks.[20] The St. Petersburg Times called the album "modern jazz at its finest."[21] Louise Stone recommended the album but found it inferior to Brubeck's Fantasy recordings and Jazz Goes to College.[3] The album has been cited as a superior example of utilizing "off" time signatures.[22] The Age stated that the album "breaks new ground.""[7] The Seattle Post-Intelligencer called it one of Brubeck's most creative records.[11]

Track listingEdit

All tracks written by Dave Brubeck except where noted[23][1].

No.TitleWriter(s)Recording dateLength
1."Countdown" February 12, 19622:23
2."Eleven Four"Paul DesmondMay 25, 19612:48
3."Why Phillis"Eugene WrightJune 28, 19612:17
4."Someday My Prince Will Come"Frank Churchill, Larry MoreyJanuary 12, 19626:22
5."Castilian Blues" May 3, 19612:33
6."Castilian Drums" May 3, 19613:52
7."Fast Life" June 28, 19612:57
8."Waltz Limp" May 3, 19614:14
9."Three's a Crowd" June 2, 19612:41
10."Danse Duet" June 28, 19613:45
11."Back to Earth" December 16, 19613:16
Total length:37:52

CD bonus trackEdit




  1. ^ a b c "Dave Brubeck Discography". Jazz Discography Project. Retrieved July 22, 2013.
  2. ^ Yanow, Scott (2002). All Music Guide to Jazz: The Definitive Guide to Jazz Music (4 ed.). Backbeat Books. p. 170. ISBN 9780879307172.
  3. ^ a b Stone, Louise D. (May 26, 1962). "The Jazz Bit". The Afro-American. p. 12. Retrieved July 22, 2013.
  4. ^ Down Beat: August 16, 1962 vol. 29, no. 22
  5. ^ a b c "Spotlight Albums of the Week". Billboard. May 5, 1962. p. 24. Retrieved 21 July 2013.
  6. ^ Borgerson, Janet (2017). Designed for hi-fi living : the vinyl LP in midcentury America. Schroeder, Jonathan E., 1962-, Miller, Daniel, 1954-. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press. pp. 86–88. ISBN 9780262036238. OCLC 958205262.
  7. ^ a b "Dave Brubeck; More Rhythm Experiments". The Age. Melbourne, Australia. June 29, 1962. p. 4. Retrieved July 22, 2013.
  8. ^ Heckman, Don (December 12, 2004). "JAZZ SPOTLIGHT; Venerable building blocks for an impressive library; Decades of excellence are captured in classy collections this year". Los Angeles Times. p. E.56.
  9. ^ Nick Carter (April 7, 2004). "Stuff To Do, To Buy, To Talk About". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. p. 1E. Retrieved July 22, 2013.
  10. ^ Sauro, Tony (December 8, 2011). "Trove of Brubeck discs hits market". The Record. Stockton, California. Retrieved July 22, 2013.
  11. ^ a b c Barbrick, Greg (April 26, 2011). "Music Review: The Dave Brubeck Quartet - Time Box Set". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved July 22, 2013.
  12. ^ Carlson, Russell (August 9, 2003). "Columbia Compiles Brubeck". Jazz Times. Retrieved July 23, 2013.
  13. ^ "Downbeat". Dave Brubeck Jazz. 1 October 2003. Retrieved 8 June 2017.
  14. ^ Kristen Bialik (October 11, 2011). "Brubeck's Signature, Signed with Time". Huffington Post. Retrieved July 22, 2013.
  15. ^ Bowden, Michael (March 10, 2004). "Dave Brubeck Quartet: For All Time". PopMatters. Retrieved July 22, 2013.
  16. ^ a b c d e f Brubeck, Dave (1962). Countdown—Time in Outer Space (LP Record). Dave Brubeck Quartet. Columbia Records. CS 8575.
  17. ^ Katzif, Michael (September 26, 2008). "Five More In 5/4". National Public Radio. Retrieved July 22, 2013.
  18. ^ Hall, Fred (1996). It's About Time: The Dave Brubeck Story. University of Arkansas Press. p. 62. ISBN 9781610752107.
  19. ^ "Top LPs". Billboard. August 25, 1962. p. 2. Retrieved 22 July 2013.
  20. ^ The Billboard Albums, 6th ed. Joel Whitburn. 2006. Record Research Inc. p. 149. ISBN 0-89820-166-7
  21. ^ "Santa's Gift Guide". St. Petersburg Times. November 28, 1963. p. 6–G. Retrieved July 22, 2013.
  22. ^ Bufe, Chaz (1994). An Understandable Guide to Music Theory: The Most Useful Aspects of Theory for Rock, Jazz & Blues Musicians. SEE SHARPE PRESS. p. 66. ISBN 9781884365003. Retrieved July 21, 2013.
  23. ^ Yanow, Scott. "Dave Brubeck - Countdown: Time in Outer Space". Allmusic. Retrieved July 22, 2013.