Posted by themusicsover on December 5, 2012
December 6, 1920 – December 5, 2012
Dave Brubeck was a highly influential jazz pianist who, over the course of a career that spanned some 70 years, achieved pop star status thanks in part to his Top 25 hit single, “Take Five.” The album from which that song came, 1959’s Time Out, was the first jazz album to sell over 1 million copies and is still the best-selling jazz album in history. Born into a musical family in Concord, California, Brubeck was just four when he began taking piano lessons, and by his teens, he was already playing in a local dance band. When it came time to head off to college, Brubeck fully intended on a career in veterinary medicine, but when one of his professors caught one of his sets at a local club, he advised Brubeck to change his focus to music. He did just that, and after graduating with a degree in music, he served in WWII where he played in Red Cross shows for the soldiers. After the war, Brubeck formed the Dave Brubeck Quartet and went on to have a storied career with roughly 125 albums to his name. He continued performing well into the 2000s, and along the way was recognized with a National Medal of Arts, the Kennedy Center Honor, a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, a Smithsonian Medal, numerous honorary degrees, and even a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Dave Brubeck was one day shy of 92 when he passed away on December 5, 2012.