Dave Brubeck

We will “Take Five” and remember jazz great Dave Brubeck.

This 1956 file photo shows American composer, pianist and jazz musician Dave Brubeck. Brubeck, a pioneering jazz composer and pianist died Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012 of heart failure, after being stricken while on his way to a cardiology appointment with his son. He would have turned 92 on Thursday. (AP)

This 1956 file photo shows American composer, pianist and jazz musician Dave Brubeck. Brubeck, a pioneering jazz composer and pianist died Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012 of heart failure, after being stricken while on his way to a cardiology appointment with his son. He would have turned 92 on Thursday. (AP)

Jazz great Dave Brubeck drove cattle on horseback as a boy on his father’s California ranch.  Always remembered the hooves and their beat.  Exciting.  Syncopated.  All over.  You can hear it in his music.

At his piano keyboard.  Brubeck died this week at nearly 92.  He took jazz to places and people it had not been before, with a sound at once thrilling and familiar.  Performed nearly to the end.  A giant who stuck around a long, long time.

This hour, On Point:  the life and music of jazz great Dave Brubeck.

-Tom Ashbrook


Ted Gioia, jazz critic and author of several books on music, including The History of Jazz and West Coast Jazz: Modern Jazz in California 1945-1960.

Bobby Militello, jazz saxophonist and multi-instrumentalist. He’s played in the Dave Brubeck Quartet since 1982.

Russell Gloyd, producer, conductor, and manager for Dave Brubeck since 1976.

From Tom’s Reading List

Spin “West Coast jazz legend Dave Brubeck died this morning near his home in Connecticut. The pianist-bandleader, 91, who had the audacity to enjoy a Top 40 hit — 1959’s “Take Five” — never quite met the exacting standards of the critical establishment, who considered him a pale representative of the real African-American thing. Fortunately, he hung around long enough to garner considerable acclaim as an influential elder.”

The Atlantic “Many remembrances of Dave Brubeck, who died on Wednesday one day short of his 92nd birthday, will be dominated by his passion for unusual rhythms. Brubeck’s 1959 classic “Take Five” is deservedly one of the best-known and best-loved jazz recordings of all time. At a time when almost every jazz and rhythm and blues recording used standard 4/4 time, and the waltz (which he also mastered) constituted an exotic beat, Brubeck opened the record with a syncopated, almost ominous piano riff with five beats to a bar. A bit later, Paul Desmond floated in on top with a mysterious saxophone line, and then the whole quartet launched into a joyous, corkscrewing second theme.”


Here’s Dave Brubeck’s hit Take Five.


Take Five by the Dave Brubeck Quartet

Over the Rainbow (live)  by Dave Brubeck and Paul Desmond

Irish Black Bottom by Lu Waters

Blue Rondo a la Turk by the Dave Brubeck Quartet

Everybody’s Comin by Dave Brubeck and Louis Armstrong

It’s a Raggy Waltz by the Dave Brubeck Quartet

Body and Soul by Dave Brubeck Trio

Waltzing by the Dave Brubeck Quartet

Pange Lingua Variations: Bow Down by Dave Brubeck and the London Symphony Orchestra

London Flat, London Sharp by Dave Brubeck Quartet

On the Sunny Side of the Street by the Dave Brubeck Quartet

Thank You by Dave Brubeck

C Jam Blues by the Dave Brubeck Quartet

Take Five (live) Dave Brubeck Quartet


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