Legendary Jazz Pianist Dave Brubeck Dies At 91

By O'Jay Burgess on Dec 05, 2012 03:00 PM EST

Legendary American jazz pianist Dave Brubeck died at the age of 91 Yahoo News reports. Brubeck who would have been 92-years old Thursday passed away while in hospital on Wednesday morning at Norwalk Hospital in Connecticut.

The 91-year old died of heart failure after being stricken while on his way to a cardiology appointment with his son Darius, said his manager Russell Gloyd.

Brubeck was a revolutionary jazz artist who changed the genre. His career kicked off in the 1940s and in the 1950s when he formed the Dave Brubeck Quartet. The pianist was the first jazz musician to be pictured on the cover of Time magazine on Nov. 8, 1954.

His quartet's "Time Out," album released in 1959 was the first ever million-selling jazz LP, and is still among the best-selling jazz albums of all time by some. The innovative album broke away from the conventional with songs like "Take Five."

Brubeck and his quartet did "Take 5," in 5/4 time which became the Quartet's signature theme and landed them on Billboard singles chart in 1961. It was composed by Brubeck's longtime saxophonist, Paul Desmond.

"When you start out with goals - mine were to play polytonally and polyrhythmically - you never exhaust that," Brubeck told The Associated Press in 1995. "I started doing that in the 1940s. It's still a challenge to discover what can be done with just those two elements."

In his later years, Brubeck stepped outside his genre and began composing music for operas, ballets and contemporary Mass.

The musician worked on music for shows like Charlie Brown, he entertained political figures such as former American president Ronald Regan and Soviet leader Mikhail Grobachev He worked with top Hollywood personalities like Clint Eastwood.

Brubeck and his wife, Iola, had five sons and a daughter. His son Chris played the trombone and electric bass, Dan on drums, Darius on keyboards. Son, Matthew, who plays cello played with the London Symphony Orchestra in a birthday tribute to Brubeck in December 2000.

"We never had a rift," Chris Brubeck once said of living and playing with his father. "I think music has always been a good communication tool, so we didn't have a rift. We've always had music in common."

Dave Brubeck- Take Five (1966)


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