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Jazz great Dave Brubeck passes away

Jazz great Dave Brubeck passes away

THE jazz great Dave Brubeck has passed away only days before his 92nd birthday.

Mr. Brubeck was a pianist and composer who was widely regarded as being one of the most influential figures in Jazz.

With his band, The Dave Brubeck Quartet, he enjoyed great success, selling millions of albums.

Their Time Out album, released in 1959, included the track Take Five (see below) which became the biggest-selling jazz single of all time. The track was written by the band’s saxophonist Paul Desmond.

Mr. Brubeck, who had toured with many of the other jazz greats including Ella Fitzgerald and Duke Ellington, had been trained as a classical pianist and this background was to have an influence on his pioneering jazz style.

Although he disbanded the quartet in the late 1960s, so that he could concentrate on composing, the band regularly came together for performances until 1977 when Paul Desmond passed away.

Over his career, Mr. Brubeck composed more than 200 pieces including his jazz opera Cannery Row Suite which premiered at Monterey 2006. His final album, Indian Summer, was released in 2007.

While many regard Mr. Brubeck as a legend for his music, he will also be remembered for his efforts to win civil rights. He regularly toured his integrated band in the American south, at a time when black people faced widespread discrimination.

He was awarded the National Medal of Arts in the United States in 1994, and a Grammy for lifetime achievement in 1996.

To view footage of The Dave Brubeck Quartet perform Take Five, click here.

To see an excerpt from an interview with Mr. Brubeck, click here.

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