Dave Brubeck / The Dave Brubeck Quartet

Unsquare Dance

Composed by Dave Brubeck

Song Review by

Dave Brubeck composed a number of songs with then-unusual time signatures during the early 1960s; one of the most enduring has been the deceptively simple sounding “Unsquare Dance.” The 7/4 rhythm of this miniature was accompanied by hand clapping (presumably Paul Desmond, as well as Brubeck while he ducks out in the middle of the original recording), causing Joe Morello to laugh a bit after they completed a successful take without errors. Years later, Brubeck was surprised when a European audience at one concert clapped along and refused to be thrown by the challenging final chorus of the piece. It was explained to him afterwards that Unsquare Dance” was used as the theme to a popular television game show, so they were very familiar with it. In addition to several later studio and live recordings, Chris Brubeck (the composer’s son and a veteran of his father’s quartet) composed humorous lyrics to the song. The younger Brubeck has made several of his own recordings of “Unsquare Dance,” with Bill Crofut and Joel Brown, the trio Triple Play, as well as with the London Symphony Orchestra under his own name.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Time Further Out 1961 Wax Time 2:02
Moscow Night 1987 Concord Jazz 5:02
On Time 2001 Collectables 2:02
The Essential Dave Brubeck 2003 Sony Music 2:00
Time Out/Time In [Bonus Tracks] 2008 Legacy / Sony Music Distribution 2:02
Only the Best of Dave Brubeck 2008 Collectables 2:02
Original Album Classics 2010 Columbia 2:02
The Complete Studio Albums Collection 1955-1966 2012 Sony Music 2:02
No Image 2013 Golden Sky Records 1:58
No Image 2013 Dwk Records 2:07
No Image 2017
Original Soundtrack
Columbia / Sony Music 2:02
The Columbia Years Not Now Music / Not Now UK
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