Brubeck heard this unusual rhythm performed by Turkish musicians on the street. Upon asking the musicians where they got the rhythm, one replied "This rhythm is to us, what the blues is to you." Hence the title "Blue Rondo à la Turk."
The rhythm consists of three measures of 2+2+2+3 followed by one measure of 3 + 3 + 3 and the cycle then repeats.
Keith Emerson used this song (uncredited) when he was with progressive rock band The Nice, using it as the basis of "Rondo" from the album The Thoughts of Emerlist Davjack. Later, Emerson folded the melody into the 14-minute "Finale (Medley)" on the 1993 Emerson, Lake & Palmer release Live at the Royal Albert Hall, as well as improvisations on "Fanfare for the Common Man". Those medleys also included themes from other well-known tunes including "America" from West Side Story, "Toccata and Fugue in D", and "Flight of the Bumblebee". Emerson has frequently used the "Rondo" as a closing number during live performances through his career.
French singer Claude Nougaro used this composition as a musical foundation for his song "À bout de souffle".
The song "Vesuvius" by Frank Ticheli borrows a motif from Blue Rondo.
The opening bars of Blue Rondo are quoted at length by pianist Albert Gianquinto in "Midnight Creeper," a 1967 live performance by blues harmonica player James Cotton, included on the album "The Montreal Sessions."
The opening bars of Blue Rondo are also used repeatedly in the battle music of Final Fantasy VII.
Take something exotic & make it your own.
Put your stamp on it.
That's the way to do it.
First track from the best Dave Brubeck album Time Out. Name comes from the 9/8 turkish rhythms as 2+2+2+3 and 3+3+3 which are played consecutively in this piece.