Dave Brubeck Dead at 91

Piano great spent his career pushing against the boundaries of jazz

December 5, 2012 11:57 AM ET
dave brubeck
Dave Brubeck
David Redfern/Redferns

Jazz piano great Dave Brubeck died this morning of heart failure in Norwalk, Connecticut, his manager told the Chicago Tribune. He was a day shy of his 92nd birthday.

2012 In Memoriam: Musicians We Lost

Brubeck spent his lengthy career pushing against the boundaries of jazz, blending classical influences with his own improvisational instincts on compositions that transcended standard notions of swing with unusual time signatures and rhythms. Brubeck's best-known work, the 1959 album Time Out, was an experimental collection accessible enough to reach Number Two on the Billboard Pop Albums chart and sell more than one million copies.

He recorded dozens of albums over the years, including orchestral compositions, film soundtracks and the jazz musical The Real Ambassadors. Brubeck received the Kennedy Center Honors in 2009, a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1996 and the National Medal of Arts in 1994.

Here's Brubeck performing "Take Five" in 1966:

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