Jazz in Odd Meters – Standards in 5/4 time

5 is the new 4.  Or is it “7 is the new 4”?  I can never remember.  I’ve been working on odd meters lately, 5/4 and 7/4 in particular, so I thought a list of my favorite odd-metered standards would make a good post.  I’d love to make a post of favorite odd-meter originals, but it would probably be dominated by Dave Holland tunes.

(Check out Part 2 – Standards in 7/4 time)

First off, from the exceptionally talented Esperanza Spaulding is “Body and Soul” (Cuerpo y Alma) in 5/4 time.   It features a fantastic bass riff (which is to be expected with Esperanza) and some great solo work by pianist Leo Genovese.

Next, a really hip version of “Like Someone In Love” also in 5/4 from the Sam Yahel trio (w. Peter Bernstein and Brian Blade).  For those who are unfamiliar with Sam Yahel, he is the organist/keyboardist from Joshua Redman’s burnin’ Elastic Band.  And if you’re unfamiliar with Joshua Redman’s Elastic Band, you need to check them out.  Yahel does the tune in Ab (instead of the traditional Eb) and it opens with a very cool diminished vamp.  Check it out below.

Next up – “I Didn’t Know What Time It Was” from one of the masters of the odd meter – Brad Mehldau.  From Art Of The Trio Vol 1, a nice version in 5/4 time.

Check it out here

Next, from great Chicago saxophonist Geof Bradfield, “Con Alma”.  The A sections are in a quick 5/4 and the bridge is in a slower 4.  Taken from the album Urban Nomad which features fantastic Chicago-based pianist Ron Perillo.

Check it out here

Then, on to “So In Love” as played by the masterful Fred Hersch.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a full recording online, but it is from the album Night & The Music.

Here’s the track.

Lastly, check out Jacky Terrasson’s version of “Smile” by the great Charlie Chaplin.  Here’s a live take.



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