The name Dave Brubeck might not strike a chord with everyone, but trust us—you've heard "Take Five." The pianist behind that song and so many other classic jazz compositions has died at the age of 91.
Brubeck's manager Russell Gloyd confirmed that the musician died this morning at Norwalk Hospital, in Norwalk, Connecticut. Tomorrow would have been Brubeck's 92nd birthday, but he died from heart failure on the way to a routine appointment with his cardiologist.
In the '50s and '60s—a time when jazz musicians were either simplifying their approach with modal jams or following their impulses toward increasingly frantic sounds—Brubeck distinguished himself by taking a more restrained yet cerebral approach. On what's undoubtedly his most popular album, Time Out, Brubeck wrote each song in a different time signature but managed to do so without showing off his mastery with odd meters. They're experimental songs, but they go down smooth. Like "Blue Rondo a la Turk," another song you've probably heard that Brubeck wrote in a very unusual 9/8 time signature: