December 5th, 2012
01:28 PM ET
Jazz great Dave Brubeck dies at 91
Jazz pianist Dave Brubeck, 91, died Wednesday from heart failure, his manager, Russell Gloyd, told CNN.
Brubeck's heart stopped while he was en route to the hospital with his eldest son for a regular checkup, Gloyd said. His son became alarmed about his father and called 911, Gloyd said.
"(Paramedics) came out and said, 'We just can't keep the heart going,' " Gloyd told CNN.
Gloyd, who also was a producer with Brubeck, said the musician was rushed to Norwalk Hospital in Norwalk, Connecticut, where he was declared dead.
According to his website, Brubeck was born into a musical family in Concord, California, and had two older brothers who were also professional musicians. As a teen, he began playing in local dance bands after his family moved to a cattle ranch in the foothills of the Sierra mountains.
Intent on pursuing a career in veterinary medicine, Brubeck worked his way through college as a pianist in jazz bands. He soon switched his major to music and went on to pursue a career, releasing music as part of the Dave Brubeck Trio in 1949. He formed the Dave Brubeck Quartet in 1951 following a near fatal car crash.
Songs such as "Blue Rondo a la Turk" and "Take Five" helped the jazz artist find crossover success in the pop world.
Designated a "living legend" by the Library of Congress, Brubeck was still actively pursuing his career in music. Gloyd said the pianist continued to practice every day and was contemplating recording a new song.
But his longtime manager/publicist said he and the musician's family hope that Brubeck is also remembered for his political activism.
"I don’t think people realize his commitment to civil rights and justice," Gloyd said. "At the height of his stardom, he canceled 23 out of 24 concerts in the South at Southern universities when they would not allow him to bring his black bass player."
President of The Recording Academy Neil Portnow called Brubeck an "iconic jazz and classical pianist."
"Throughout his six decade-long career, his unique time signatures and distinct rhythms were highlights of his innovative style," Portnow continued. "As one of the prime architects of the sophisticated West Coast jazz sound, Brubeck showed that jazz could be artistically challenging yet accessible to large audiences. His recordings have received both commercial and critical success, and will be remembered and celebrated for generations to come. We have lost a great legend in our community, and our thoughts and condolences go to his family, friends and all those he inspired."
Brubeck would have celebrated his 92nd birthday on Thursday.
soundoff (150 Responses)
Post a comment
You must be logged in to post a comment.
About this blog
Our daily cheat-sheet for breaking celebrity news, Hollywood buzz and your pop-culture obsessions.
With havin a lot content material do you ever run into any problems of plagorism or copyright infringement? My web site has a lot of completely distinctive content material I've either written myself or outsourced but it looks like lots of it's popping it up all more than the web with out my permission. Do you know any methods to assist reduce content material from being ripped off? I'd genuinely value it. backlink http://fiverr.com/twnseobacklink
At the height of his stardom, he canceled 23 out of 24 concerts in the South at Southern universities when they would not allow him to bring his black bass player."
Black people have come a long way but I can't but think what more they would've accomplished if they were allowed to get the recognition they so rightly deserved.
REPOSTED – blue boys will get a visit from LLP boys
Dire Straits "Money For Nothing" (unedited) – Blue Boys getting the "Red Grease"
Thank you sir for bringing your wonderful Eastern style blend to the modern jazz world. You and your music will live in my spirit for life and i will introduce it to my young relatives as well. I hope that in your next incarnation as well as mine that your contribution to the physical universe will be preserved so that every soul will be lifted to the highest level of music in this world and you sir have been a primary provider for us. We simply call it jazz....Thank you for your gift to us Dave and may your children carry on your rich legacy for generations to come....
that's called traptop.....
heading to the note with my date...yum...
heading the note with my date...yum...
my bet is that Dave and Thelonius Monk are playing some cool duets beyond the pearly gates. Seriously, sad to see a great musician pass on, but 91 years is a very decent life. I pray that I can keep playing piano and guitar up to my last day...oh, and I hope that day is far, far away!
Thank you for the music.R.I.P.
For our wedding 7 years ago, my wife & I hired a saxophone player to play some tunes before the cermony, and to play the processional and recessional songs. For the processional, we chose Take Five. We love that tune. It s sad to hear that Dave Brubeck has passed on, but what a legacy he has passed.
"Take five" that was his greatest tune, and still a classic that brings enjoyment.
Take Five is actually written by Paul Desmond.
otherwise all these articles are the worst.....i gave it a few months i need human contact. this is does nothing for me.
let me know if you want to head to the bloonot this weekend.....gotta go.. hee.
Condolences to Mr. Brubeck and family.............It's great to hear he was still a vibrant soul and I wish to hear and collect more of his music in the future.Thanks for caring and sharing.. G'd bless you Sir.......Amen.
rip my love....
RIP Dave Brubeck, and thanks to my cousin Jim Brownlee for introducing me to the Take Five 5/4 signature way back when.
RIP Dave! LOVE listening to "Take 5" over and over again.... Thanks for all the great music!
With all due respect, Take Five and rest in peace, Mr. Brubeck. God bless him and all the other jazz greats still with us. Too few left and too few young bloods stepping up. Man, times have changed.
Not to worry, I was at the Monterey Jazz Fest in Sept and there are a lot of young new musicians, who have been inspired by the greats, they are on their way to keep the traditions alive. Thanks to the likes of Mr Brubeck, RIP Dave
RIP. My video I made in memory of his great music:
This evening I sat down to watch the Evening News in Germany and was so surprised when they opened not with the same silly jingle they have played each and every night for some 50 years but with "Take Five". For just a moment I thought "What a grand idea!", but of course immediately realized that this was no good news at all. We will miss you dearly, Mr Brubeck, but will certainly never forget you.
To my many friends that are sending such wonderful comments about Dave, I want to say thanks.
I spent almost 30 years with him and his lovely wife Iola.
Because of Dave, I had the opportunity to develop my playing to a new level. I also had
the honor of being a part of jazz history before and during my tenure with him.
He was truly bigger than life in the jazz community, but if you knew him, he wa
s just a regular guy with a solid work ethic and a true passion for what he did. He never stopped his quest for the grail. There was always a new place to explore and a new sound to create.
I can honestly say that during the time I was with him, each and every concert we played, he attempted to play something different, yes, even on Take 5. He loved his family, his friends and especially his beautiful wife.
I will miss him more than you can ever imagine.
Wow, you were blessed.
Bobby, I share your loss (and appreciation) for Mr. Brubeck.As a young high school trumpet player in the 70's, I really wrapped my head around the likes of Dave Brubeck, Maynard Ferguson, Danny Styles, Bill Watrous and many others. Reading Downbeat magazine was a passion of mine. My memories rush back every time we lose another giant of jazz. I did get to see you play with MF on several occasions in the late 70's. My brother and I always reminisce about you, Peter Erskine,, Stan Mark, Biff Hannon and the rest of the MF team. Those memories are priceless...THANK YOU for all you give to the arts.
I've been listening to him for the past 30+ years and am still discovering his music. Blue Rhondo, Trolley Song, KC Blues, Unsquare Dance, Someday My Prince will Come, Take Five, are among my favorites but the list goes on. Thankfully I saw him in concert. I'd say rest in peace but I know he's up there playing hard with Paul and Joe. A heartfelt thanks to God for sharing this man. Sincerest condolences to the Brubeck family.
Take 5 Dave.
Talk about one of the GIANTS of JAZZ......A career longer than I have been alive and I am 57! Truly a great musician and showman............RIP
My mother was a world class concert pianist who gave me a love of music, even jazz...lol...I was fortunate enough to see the quartet at a London England concert...Contrary to the US in the early 60's, by far the audience was black...Thanks Dave....You will be missed...Have to go now and play a few LPs...
Baby Boomers like me are living in a difficult time. More greats, more legends have become famous to us through the blossoming media over the decades – the ones who came before us but were part of our lives, and the ones who have come since. We continue to see at a quickening rate how our cultural heroes are passing at such a swift pace. Dave Brubeck was a giant musical icon who will be greatly missed.
Dave Brubeck is one of those icons. His take on jazz in the 1950's revolutionized the art form. Jazz lovers around the world will mourn and miss him
I wasn't even alive at the height of his popularity, but Take 5 had a profound impact on me and my life. Thank you Mr. Brubeck.
Thanks, Dave, for your time here on Earth giving us Heaven in your music
I shall miss him. Time Out was the very first LP I ever bought back in 1966 (?), and it informed my musical tastes, introducing me to the great world of jazz.
He was a legend and will be missed. R.I.P. Dave.
Take 5, Dave and rest in peace!!
I am so Blue Rondo. :-,,,,,(
I saw him at the amestown, a small private club in the Grove in 1971. Just great.
Sorry, left the "J" off Jamestown.
Take five RIP Dave.
My son (a guitarist) and I watched In 'His Own Sweet Way' together when it was on PBS. I was proud to know that I helped pass on an appreciation of Mr. Brubeck to the next genration. I also saw him perform the Jazz Mass he wrote. It was at the amphitheater at Our Lady of the Snows National Shrine near Belleville, IL. Mass has never been the same for me!
My Mom also attended his mass at the Shrine and said he informed audience if they wanted to stay he would play jazz. She was amazed at how many people left but she said because they left she and her friends ended up with amazing seats listening to Brubeck play jazz! RIP Dave Brubeck-TAKE 5
True legends never die, and Dave Brubeck is certainly one of them. He has left us with so much musical treasure, and those of us who enjoy jazz are all the richer for it.
Thank you Mr. Brubeck. You memory will live on in us.
He was truly a great musician, and a wonderful man. I regret that I never saw him perform live, although ironically I got to meet him and perform one of his tunes, Strange Meadowlark, in front of him and his wife Iola a couple years ago (one of my most cherished memories!). Truly a beautiful piece of music, listening to it right now...
I will need to maudlin and politically incorrect tonight. I will put Take Five on my turntable, pour a martini and light up a Lucky Strike.
Thank you and good bye Mr Brubeck, you left a lot of good stuff behind.
I gonna have to play Steely Dans "New Frontier" in tribute to Dave Brubeck.
All I can say is: take five, folks... with Dave Brubeck's demise, this country has lost a living jazz legend...
He was quite an innovator and his Time Out album was #2 seller in Jazz history. I had the opportunity to play with his son Chris, closest I got. RIP, Dave B!
back in the Beat days when "Frisco" had coffee houses with Beatniks while everybody else still just had coffee shops, he was a regular part of the scene....our best days are behind us
I was just listening to Bud Powell when my eye caught this story. The world has lost another icon. Thank God for Dave Brubeck. I named a cat after him back in the 80's. My deceased brother loved his music. Rest in peace.
Wow...I can remember the first time I heard Blue Ronda A La Turk in College at a Jazz Music Class. Really phenomenal talent. You will be missed.
One of the greats has passed on leaving a hole in the music world; in honor of this man and his legacy, everyone...Take Five.
love you mr. brubeck...smooch....
Ginger Baker owes you for Cream's Do What You Like as does anyone who loves rhythm with their jazz. My dad introduced me as well, although I can't say exactly when but sometime in the late '60s. Then I found Dave later on my own and agree with most here... a gentle, generous guy who is (still) oh so cool. Where are the NEW jazz greats? Let's keep this great American art form alive that Brubeck and Bird, Dizzy, Miles, Stan & others left behind.
there is going to be a huge salute to him friday night...i'll try to be there...rip.
ONE two three FOUR five ONE two three FOUR five ONE two three FOUR five ONE two three FOUR five...brilliance never dies.
You nailed it, bro. So much better than ONE, two, three, four, ONE, two, three, four...
(that's a disco beat. Bleeeeechhh.
And light-years better than monotone crotch-grabbing singing-in-shades n- talent "Rap"
A long life with much success, we could all be so lucky. Rest in Peace.
we'll miss him rip
A great legend has taken the A-Train home. Your music will live on the many hearts. May your soul find Heaven's gates. R.I.P. Mr. Brubeck
five-four time signature......first learned about it in music class at the age of 12.....from Brubeck I sought out other greats like Eric Dolphy, Miles Davis and John Coltrane and to this day, classic Jazz is what is heard on my radio when I am having one of those days of being creative for fun.....RIP you delightful man of notes.
One of the greatest musicians of our time! Thanks for the memories Dave!
Two reasons made me come to live in the US, one is the Space Program and the second is Take FIve ... I saw Dave in Concert once only .. amazing individual, very positive person.
The kind of American who inspired people all over the word, up there with Neil Armstrong, he was a true American Icon, the kind of American who doesn't seem to be easy to find these days ,.
I just played Take Five on YouTube. Makes you feel the same as 35 yrs. ago. That was the best there ever was. I was an alto sax player and Paul Desmond was my hero. My buddies and I used to go to all the concerts. Dave Brubeck was amazing and innovative. So breezy and Californian. Just a precious time in the past that is a joy to revisit. Thanks to Dave Brubeck and all the pleasure he brought to us and continues to do so.
i love to be a on a date with a guy listening to jazz, quiet atmosphere, drinks, calm night out.
Rest in peace Dave. You made our world a better place.
So well said.
Lord I love jazz...its so romantic
RIP to a jazz legend. Wish you could have held on a day longer so you could have celebrated your 92nd birthday, but that's okay. I'm going to be playing "Take 5" on my DVD tomorrow.
P.S. Thanks for sharing my birth date! (December 6, 1965)
I can still remember the first time I heard the Dave Brubeck Quartet's Dialogues for Jazz Combo and Orchestra. Blew me completely away. Total definition of COOL.
You will be missed.
Thanks, Dave. You're a hep cat forever.
Mr. Brubeck was still play in 2011 amazing man. RIP my friend your a musician's dream.
You will be missed. I remember listening to your work when I was just a teen. Now I am 48 and it never ceases to fill me with joy and a lot of thinking re: music. Concolances to your family. RIP.
Rest in peace, Dave. You have been a part of my life since day one. I will toast to you this evening as I do many by playing your music and watching the sunset. Thank you for the incredible talent, smiles and uncontrollable finger snapping.
A gentle man who was so generous with his musical genius we who remain inherit timeless treasures. He gave me 30 minutes, one-on-one at the Terrytown theater 5 years ago as we reminisced the civil rights times in Alabama. Though we only just met, his compassion and commitment were as strong as they must've been 50 years earlier. There is a new maestro among the greatest of the greats who have left their earthly stages.
The countless nights I went to bed as a kid with my parents listened to “Take-Five” in the living room. Us kids would go to sleep with the sounds of Dave Brubeck as they softly make their way through the house. He had a life well lived and will be valued for generations. Thank you for the sweet memories. RIP
i always celebrate life...i can't stand unhappy people all the time...there are such downers.
RIP we will miss your MR. Brubeck.
My dad also introduced me to Dave Brubeck, and this was my first concert ever to go to while I was in high school. Luckily I had a friend who was cool enough to take me. "Take Five" is a joy to play on the piano. What a great gift he gave to the world.
When I was a young, budding journalist in 1969, my first "celebrity" interview was with Dave Brubeck, Paul Desmond, Gene Wright, and Joe Morello. Dave could see that I was nervous (and also a little starstruck, since I had brought my vinyl copy of "Time Out" for him to autograph). Since then, I've interviewed 6 US Presidents, and countless sports and entertainment celebrities, but the one with Dave and the rest of the quartet is the one that stands out 43 years later.
Gone With The Wind...1958. My first jazz album at age 8. Can't thank you enough for creating the sound that caught my ear! I can hear it now...heavenly reunion with Paul, Joe, and Gene. Thanks and RIP.
rather than be sad, I celebrate his life, still playing, connected to family, fullfilled at the grand age of 91. what an inspiration!!!
Wow – what a lovely and admirable career! Especially loved the Two Generations of Brubeck album and the rocking version of Blue Rondo a la Turk.
The passing of a legend. Still my favorite jazz.
RIP Mr. Brubeck, I'll be spinning your "Live at Newport Jazz Festival" as soon as I get home. Thanks for the music my good man.
RIP Mr. Brubeck. You was a legend. Take 5 is one of my favorites to jazz out to when I feel stressed.
Class act... Rest In Peace Mr Brubeck... thanks for your musical and human contributions!
take 5 - rip my dear.
Thanks for the great music Dave. Think I'll take five.
As a teenage garage band guitarist I remember trying to count Take Five's 5/4. It's a dreadful loss. Thank you for the music, Dave.
Not many musicians can play in 5/4 time right, including me. Most of them prefer the 4/4 rock and roll beat.
Thank you for your music, Dave.... you gave us a lot of joy. Rest in Peace.
Take 5 Dave, you deserve it.
Finally, reunited with Desmond. Heaven's happening tonight.
Truly one of my greatest inspirations as a pianist. Brubeck was and is my hero.
I start my day listening to Blue Rondo as I drive to work, everyday. I shared a special affinity with Brubeck as I was a classical trained pianist growing up, but became enthralled with jazz piano when I started listening Art Tatum and especially Brubeck. A monumental musician, CNN is quite right to point out his activism for civil rights as well. Rest in peace and in God's grace, Dave.
As outstanding as his jazz was, I'm even more impressed by his cancelling 23 concerts in the South because various universities wouldn't let his African-American bass player participate. Admirable.
you are truly a legend and i adore you.
We all will miss him. R.I.P.
Paul's already greeted him with some dry remark, I'm sure.
Just listened to nothing but the Quartet for five hours straight this past Saturday. Will be listening to the Storyville version of "Over The Rainbow" for sure tonight. Thanks, Dave. Thanks for playing jazz. Thanks for letting Desmond back into the group. Thanks for everything.
Ah, the memories.. the wonder... the gift. Loved his music and his vision for more than 50 years, and won't stop now. His music will live forever.
RIP old timer. 91 good years.
R.I.P. Mr Brubeck. Your music legacy will live on.
Unlike today's "smooth jazz", his jazz is still the 'gold standard'... and still the coolest...
Now he get's to jam with Coltrane and Miles. I want that CD. Thank you Dave for all your great work!
And don't you know Paul D is saying 'About time! Let's get jamming'
Say Hello to Janice and Jimmy for us...
Take Five brother. RIP, your music will always part of the soundtrack of my life.
A fitting requiem is Autumn in Washington Square, a hauntingly beautiful composition by Dave Brubeck.
Listening now... Thank you, it is extraordinarily fitting for this sad occasion.
The word censor doesn't want me to mention the piano player from Steely Dan, but he's probably cracking open a bottle right now.
Was introduced to his music on the now defunct CD 101.9 in New York. Love Take 5!!
I was introduced to Dave's music while playing jazz in high school in the late 90's and have been a fan ever since. I even specifically requested "Take Five" to be played during the dinner hour at my wedding. Thanks for the great music that speaks to multiple generations of music lovers.
can't count how many times I chilled out listening to Take Five...the present generation will NEVER have sounds like that again.
I suggest we all "Take Five" in memoriam.
It's playing right now.
Dave, you were the best. Listen to your music every day. Thank you for sharing your talents. Now it's time to "take five."
Thank you Dave. Your music was the back ground of my life. Rest in wonderful peace. You served well.
He was the coolest of cool, Dave personified what music should be.
Peace and Mahalo
I'll take five.
R.I.P. Dave. I've got "Take Five" playing in the background as I write this. My dad introduced me to your music when I was a kid, and I was lucky enough to see you in concert 25 years ago. It left a lasting impression on me how cool it was seeing a father and his 3 sons making up the amazing quartet I was watching. Fantastic show and I've been a huge fan ever since. Thank you for all the countless hours of music you have provided me over the years. Truly one of the all-time greats!
Rest in Peace my friend. Rest in Peace.
I played his albums over and over again. I never got tired of them and I never will. RIP, Dave Brubeck. You were a musical treasure.
God bless you Dave. And thank you.
One of the best. Thank you for the music, Mr. Brubeck and RIP.
Mr. Brubeck, Thank you for all the great music you brought into this world. Rest In Peace.
Thanks for the wonderful music, Dave
Mr. Brubeck, I have enjoyed your music since I was a small child. Thank you for that incredible gift. My condolences to the family on the loss of a genius.
Only he could play in 11/8 time and make it work. RIP Jazzman.
Well, lots of dippy prog rock groups (many of whom I've loved) could make 11/8 time WORK, but only a handful could make it SWING. Mr. Dave was one of the few.
Gonna have to get out me old "Take Five" platter tonight...little "Blue Rondo"...ONE two THREE four FIVE six SEV eight nine...
He will truly be missed. His songs were a part of the soundtrack for my life.
My condolences to his family and music fans. Dave was truly one of the great musicians of our time, and a national treasure.
Well this just sucks. You will be missed MR. Brubeck.