RIP jazz pianist Dave Brubeck, 91

Farewell to a legend. RIP.

Source: Chicago Tribune

Jazz pianist Dave Brubeck dead at age 91

Dave Brubeck, a jazz musician who attained pop-star acclaim with recordings such as “Take Five” and “Blue Rondo a la Turk,” died Wednesday morning at Norwalk Hospital, in Norwalk, Conn., said his longtime manager-producer-conductor Russell Gloyd.

Brubeck was one day short of his 92nd birthday. He died of heart failure, en route to "a regular treatment with his cardiologist,” said Gloyd.

Throughout his career, Brubeck defied conventions long imposed on jazz musicians. The tricky meters he played in “Take Five” and other works transcended standard conceptions of swing rhythm.

The extended choral/symphonic works he penned and performed around the world took him well outside the accepted boundaries of jazz. And the concerts he brought to colleges across the country in the 1950s shattered the then-long-held notion that jazz had no place in academia.

As a pianist, he applied the classical influences of his teacher, the French master Darius Milhaud, to jazz, playing with an elegance of tone and phrase that supposedly were the antithesis of the American sound.

As a humanist, he was at the forefront of integration, playing black jazz clubs throughout the deep South in the ’50s, a point of pride for him.

"For as long as I’ve been playing jazz, people have been trying to pigeonhole me,” he once told the Tribune.

“Frankly, labels bore me.”

He is survived by his wife, Iola; four sons and a daughter; grandsons and a great granddaughter.

Oh, man. Take Five is absolutely genius; writing an entire 5/4 album after somebody told him it couldn’t be done. One of the true icons of jazz.

Thank you for a life well-lived, Mr Brubeck.

Dying of heart failure, on his way to a regular appointment with his cardiologist, a day short of his 92nd birthday? 91 is a darn good run, so hopefully it isn’t in entirely poor taste to note the signature timing.

That sucks. I don’t know much about jazz, but I f’ing love Take Five.

I’d say how sad it is, but 92 is a good age to make it to, so I’ll just say “Godspeed, Mr Brubeck”.

He was a local boy, too. He was born and spent many of his formative years in Concord and used to play here at the Concord Jazz Festival every now and then. Cool dude.

Heh, indeed. This is one of those songs that you know even if you didn’t know that you know it.

A true giant has passed. He managed to simultaneously please and challenge audiences with his music–a rare gift! His heart for justice was a gift almost as rare.

Prayers for his wife (of 70 years!) and family.

I’m in a church band, and this Sunday we played “O Come O Come Emmanuel” in 5/4 time to honor Brubeck.

It was a little ragged, but the congregation loved it.

I would love to have heard that. Sounds great.

Take Five is such a fantastic album.