Dave Brubeck, a legendary jazz composer and pianist, died Wednesday — one day before his 91st birthday.
Dave Brubeck passed away today at Norwalk Hospital after collapsing while on his way to a scheduled cardiology appointment. Manager for Brubeck, Russell Gloyd, confirmed the pianist had been en route to the appointment in the company of his son Darius when he was stricken and subsequently died.
A lengthy obituary detailing Dave Brubeck’s career was posted by the AP, detailing the musician’s rise to fame starting with his founding of the Dave Brubeck Quartet in 1951. By November of 1954, the influential artist had become the first jazz star to be featured on the cover of TIME, before he became a defining force in the genre.
The Dave Brubeck Quartet followed the honor with the release of the record “Time Out,” which hit in 1959. The album sold more than a million copies and remains a jazz best-seller today, featuring the track that was to become the group’s signature hit and breakout song — “Take Five” — a song that charted with Billboard.
Decades later, Dave Brubeck commented on his body of work in an AP interview, saying that the same approach that he adopted in the 40s was useful 50 years later:
“When you start out with goals — mine were to play polytonally and polyrhythmically — you never exhaust that … I started doing that in the 1940s. It’s still a challenge to discover what can be done with just those two elements.”
Cause of death for Dave Brubeck has been reported as heart failure.