“Blue Rondo à la Turk” is a famous jazz composition by Dave Brubeck, included on the album Time Out (1959). It was originally recorded by the Dave Brubeck Quartet with Dave Brubeck on piano, Paul Desmond on alto saxophone, Eugene Wright on bass, and Joe Morello on drums. The title is a reference to the “Piano Sonata No. 11” by Mozart, known as “Rondo Alla Turca”. During his career, Brubeck created original compositions, melded jazz into a classical music structure. Brubeck’s masterpiece Time Out is original for the use of odd time signatures and additive rhythms.
The brilliant rhythm for “Blue Rondo” was inspired by the Turkish rhythmic system Aksak. The time signature is 9/8, and it consists in 3 bars of 2+2+2+3, followed by one bar of 3+3+3. This main cycle is repeated for the entire head, while the solo section is in 4/4. Joe Morello plays the head with the snare wires off, playing the rhythm accents on the ride cymbal. The smallest time unit is the eight note, with an indication around 340 bpm. But for the transition to 4/4, and a smooth playing, is better to consider the dotted quarter note at 114 bpm.
Here you can download the drum transcription of the head.