In the jazz world, 1959 was a year of trailblazing. John Coltrane released Giant Steps. Ornette Coleman released The Shape of Jazz to Come. Miles Davis released Kind of Blue. That year, pianist Dave Brubeck released Time Out–an album of modern jazz refracted through odd time signatures and classical allusions. It got some bad reviews initially, but 50 years later it’s one of the best selling and most influential jazz records in history.
Dave Brubeck tells Tom Hall some of the stories behind his quartet’s landmark record, and we hear “Precious Gift, His Wondrous Birth,” a new Christmas hymn that Tom premiered with the Baltimore Choral Arts Society at the beginning of December. Brubeck composed the hymn to a text by his wife of 67 years, Iola Brubeck.