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R.I.P. Dave Brubeck, 1920-2012 (91)

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Dave Brubeck, a jazz musician who attained pop-star acclaim with recordings such as "Take Five" and "Blue Rondo a la Turk," died Wednesday morning at Norwalk Hospital, in Norwalk, Connecticut. Brubeck was one day short of his 92nd birthday. He died of heart failure, en route to "a regular treatment with his cardiologist."

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Time_magazine_cover%2C_Dave_Brubeck%2C_November_1954.jpg

Time MOTY 1954

Dave_Brubeck_2009.jpg

Kennedy Honors, 2009

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Back when I was in high school (Brubeck was probably shy of 65 then), I was playing Take Five in my room when my mom knocked on the door, having recognized the music. We both had the same reaction, "You know Dave Brubeck?" She was in high school when the album was first released.

Listening to Time Out now and will follow with his Christmas album...

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From all I know, Brubeck is regarded as one of the greats, with a long and productive career. But I've hardly heard any of his work besides Take Five, and sadly hardly any mention of his passing on Twitter and Facebook I've seen linked to anything but exactly that. Perhaps one of the most typecast composers of all.

RIP.

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From all I know, Brubeck is regarded as one of the greats, with a long and productive career. But I've hardly heard any of his work besides Take Five, and sadly hardly any mention of his passing on Twitter and Facebook I've seen linked to anything but exactly that. Perhaps one of the most typecast composers of all.

RIP.

To be precise, "Take Five" was not composed by Brubeck. It was written by Paul Desmond, the saxophonist of the group. The vast majority of all the other pieces recorded by the Dave Brubeck Quartet was instead composed by him. I particularly recommend to check out the albums "Time Out" and "Time Further Out". Most pieces are written in some unusual meter, and/or they feature significant meter changes. "Take Five", for example, is in 5/4. "Blue Rondo à la Turk" is very irregular, since the first three bars are in 3/4 + 3/8, the fourth bar is in 9/8, and going on you find solos in 4/4 alternated with this pattern, and so on: "Unsquare Dance" is in 7/4, "Three to get ready" alternates periods in 3/4 and 4/4... A very original, perhaps unique procedure in jazz. Probably a consequence of the studies with Milhaud carried on by Brubeck in his youth.

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