Brubeck, Dave (1920—)

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Brubeck, Dave (1920—)

Jazz legend Dave Brubeck is famous both as a composer and pianist. As the leader of the Dave Brubeck Quartet with alto saxophonist Paul Desmond, he achieved overwhelming popular success in the 1950s and 1960s. The Quartet's experimentation with unusual time signatures produced works like "Blue Rondo a la Turk" and "Take Five" among others, and Brubeck introduced millions of enthusiastic young listeners to jazz. In less than a decade, the Dave Brubeck Quartet became one of the most commercially successful jazz groups of all time.

Although some jazz traditionalists felt that Brubeck was playing "watered-down" bebop to sell records, his music brought jazz back into the mainstream of popular music. "Take Five" became Brubeck's signature tune, and it remains one of the most widely recognized jazz compositions in the world.

—Geoff Peterson

Further Reading:

Hall, F.M. It's about Time: The Dave Brubeck Story. Fayetteville, University of Arkansas Press, 1996.