The world has lost yet another musical icon. Jazz pianist Dave Brubeck, whose career spanned nearly eight decades and included some of the best-selling jazz albums of all time, passed away early Wednesday of heart failure, the day before his 92nd birthday.
Brubeck was a staple in the ever-changing world of jazz, beginning back in the World War II era, continuing into the club jazz era of the 1960’s, and into the modern day. First coming into the national spotlight with the Dave Brubeck Quartet in the 1950s, he continued recording and performing until as recently as 2011. The quartet’s 1959 album Time Out was the first jazz album in history to go platinum. He recorded or appeared on over 100 recordings during his career, and later in life expanded into composing orchestral and choral works. Among the many awards and honors he received during his career are a Grammy for Lifetime Achievement in 1996 and the Kennedy Center Honors in 2009.
Brubeck was a key figure in American music, one who shaped the course of jazz for many decades and influenced many hundreds of musicians after him. He will be sorely missed.