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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LOVED IT. on of my favorite songs ever. Great arrangement.
Was fortunate to have seen Brubeck and his quartet perform before his passing. Still one of the most memorable concerts I’ve been to.
What a beautiful tribute and top notch musicianship.
Long live Dave Brubeck your spirit of soul is with us
Mandla Mavimbela From Soweto South Africa
Just Great!SIMPLY MARVELLOUS!!!
My,oh my,oh my,oh my. Never have I ever heard anything like the drumming this has. Thank you so much, I love it.
Part II of my John Coltrane comment, above. Works great in a dark room, with lit-candles…
Very cool renditions of these songs! Very impressed!
I was fortunate to see Dave play at his alma mater UOP with their orchestra on his 75th birthday. At one point everyone in the concert hall spontaneously sang him Happy Birthday and amazingly everyone was in key. That song has never sounded so good.