For Dave Brubeck’s 100th Birthday, Watch Pakistani Musicians Play an Enchanting Version of “Take Five”

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.

You can pur­chase their album, Sachal Jazz: Inter­pre­ta­tions of Jazz Stan­dards & Bossa Nova, on Ama­zon and iTunes. It includes ver­sions of “Take Five” and “The Girl from Ipane­ma.”

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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Relat­ed Con­tent:

How Dave Brubeck’s Time Out Changed Jazz Music

Watch Jimi Hendrix’s ‘Voodoo Chile’ Per­formed on a Gayageum, a Tra­di­tion­al Kore­an Instru­ment

Talk­ing Heads’ “This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody)” Per­formed on Tra­di­tion­al Chi­nese Instru­ments

An Uplift­ing Musi­cal Sur­prise for Dave Brubeck in Moscow (1997)

Ultra Ortho­dox Rab­bis Sing Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here” on the Streets of Jerusalem

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.