How’s this for fusion? Here we have The Sachal Studios Orchestra, based in Lahore, Pakistan, playing an innovative cover of “Take Five,” the jazz standard written by Paul Desmond and originally performed by The Dave Brubeck Quartet in 1959. Brubeck–who would have celebrated his 100th birthday today–called it the “most interesting” version he had ever heard. Once you watch the performance above, you’ll know why.
According to The Guardian, The Sachal Studios Orchestra was created by Izzat Majeed, a philanthropist based in London. When Pakistan fell under the dictatorship of General Zia-ul-Haq during the 1980s, Pakistan’s classical music scene fell on hard times. Many musicians were forced into professions they had never imagined — selling clothes, electrical parts, vegetables, etc. Whatever was necessary to get by. Today, many of these musicians have come together in a 60-person orchestra that plays in a state-of-the-art studio, designed partly by Abbey Road sound engineers.
For good measure, we’ve added Sachal’s take on “Eleanor Rigby,” something George Harrison would surely have loved.
Note: A version of this post first appeared on our site back in 2013. But as enchanting as it is, it seemed worth bringing back.
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