The 50th Anniversary Edition of the Dave Brubeck Quartet's bona fide classic, Time Out
, was issued in May of 2009 by Sony Legacy. Its place in jazz history has been solidified by its being the first platinum-selling jazz album; it has also been hotly debated for its mass appeal and its accessibility. Certainly it is an attempt to get fans to buy the same recording on CD for at least the third time, but the producers of this set came up with some fine extras -- as well as a decent price -- to justify doing so. First there's the album, which is the same 24-bit remaster that's been out there, so if you are only a casual Brubeck fan, or have the album and it's enough, then stop reading. For the real fan, it's the bonus discs that warrant the attention here. First there's a second audio CD that contains previously unreleased concert recordings form 1961, 1963, and 1964 with the classic quartet of Brubeck, alto saxophonist Paul Desmond, bassist Eugene Wright
, and drummer Joe Morello
. The track list is stellar and includes standards such as "Pennies from Heaven," and "You Go to My Head," in addition to live versions of both "Take Five," and "Blue Rondo à la Turk." There are eight tracks in all running 54 minutes; Brubeck and Desmond inspire the performances with some really knotty improvisation and brilliant contrapuntal exchanges between them. The DVD is something else again. About 30 minutes in length, it contains an extensive interview with Brubeck on the making of the album, some terrific performance footage of the quartet, an animated photo gallery, and a debatable interactive multi-angle piano lesson. In sum, this package adds tremendously to the value of the original album.