Classically influenced pianist's hit 'Take Five' made him a household name and helped to define music in the 1960s.

This article titled “Dave Brubeck, jazz composer and pianist, dies aged 91” was written by John Fordham and agencies, for The Guardian on Wednesday 5th December 2012 18.52 UTC

The jazz composer and pianist Dave Brubeck, whose pioneering style in pieces such as Take Five caught listeners’ ears with exotic, challenging rhythms, has died. He was 91.

Californian-born, Brubeck had a career that spanned almost all of American jazz since the second world war. He formed the Dave Brubeck Quartet in 1951, and his hypnotically catchy Take Five – written by his gifted saxophonist Paul Desmond in 1959 – was the first jazz instrumental to sell one million copies.

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