Dave Brubeck Dead at 91

Piano great spent his career pushing against the boundaries of jazz

dave brubeck
David Redfern/Redferns
Dave Brubeck
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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.

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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: