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Dave Brubeck, jazz artist and composer, dies at 91

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12/05/2012 by Nichole Hamilton

Dave Brubeck, a jazz pianist and composer known for recordings such as "Take Five," has died at age 91.

The musician suffered heart failure while on his way to a cardiology appointment with his son on Wednesday morning, according to his manager. He would have turned 92 on Thursday, December 6.

The performer was known for his eclectic and improvisational style, and for innovating jazz with his contrasting meters and rhythms.

In 1954, Brubeck was the first modern jazz musician to be featured on the cover of Time magazine. The only jazz musician previously featured on the prestigious magazine's cover was Louis Armstrong in 1949.

"Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement award recipient David Brubeck was an iconic jazz and classical pianist," Neil Portnow, president and CEO of the Recording Academy, the group behind the Grammy Awards, said in a statement obtained by OTRC.com. "Throughout his six decade-long career, his unique time signatures and distinct rhythms were highlights of his innovative style."

"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," he added. "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."

"song of the day: WINTER WONDERLAND - DAVE BRUBECK (R.I.P.)," musician Rob Thomas Tweeted.

The Dave Brubeck Quartet's 1959 album "Time Out" was the first ever million-selling jazz LP. "Take Five," a cut from that album by saxophonist Paul Desmond, became the group's signature theme.

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