Jazz Great Dave Brubeck Dead at 91

Pioneer of the genre attained pop-culture success

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 5, 2012 11:31 AM CST
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(Newser) – Jazz legend Dave Brubeck died this morning of heart failure in Norwalk, Conn., one day short of his 92nd birthday. Even those who are not aficionados will likely recognize hits such as "Take Five" and "Blue Rondo a la Turk," which came out in 1959 on what the AP calls his "seminal" album, Time Out. It became the first in the genre to sell 1 million copies. A look around at the tributes pouring in:

  • Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune: 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."

  • Owen McNally, Hartford Courant: "His lanky, 6-foot-2 frame, aquiline profile, customary suit-and-tie attire for concert hall gigs and, most particularly, his horn-rimmed glasses, which became a signature piece of the iconic Brubeck image, made him look like the embodiment of the jazz musician as an intellectual in the 1950s."
  • Matt Schudel, Washington Post: He "had unparalleled commercial success, expanding musical boundaries with his daring compositions and carrying jazz throughout the world."

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