Jazz icon Dave Brubeck died this morning in Norwalk, Conn., just one day before his 92nd birthday, USA Today reports.
The pianist and composer, known for the classic instrumental “Take Five,” suffered a fatal heart attack while on his way to a “regular treatment with his cardiologist,” his longtime manager, producer and conducter Russell Gloyd told the Chicago Tribune. He died in Norwalk Hospital.
“The pianist, regarded as one of the greatest of American jazz musicians, reached pop star status with recordings including ‘Take Five’ and ‘Blue Rondo a la Turk,’ both of which appeared on Brubeck’s acclaimed 1959 album, ‘Time Out,’” the story reports. “Both also showcased Brubeck’s fondness for unusual time signatures. ‘Take Five’ is in 5/4 time; ‘Blue Rondo’ is in 9/8 time.”
Brubeck, a prolific composer, described himself as "a composer who plays the piano."
The report notes: “He wrote and recorded several large-scale compositions since the 1960s, including two ballets, a musical, an oratorio, four cantatas, a mass, works for jazz group and orchestra, and many pieces for solo piano. He has appeared at the Newport (1958, 1972, 1981), Monterey (1962, 1980), Concord (1982), and Kool jazz festivals, and performed at the White House (1964, 1981).”
Here’s a clip of Brubeck and his group performing his signature song, “Take Five,” in 1966: