When jazz legend Dave Brubeck died on December 5, his profound impact on the world of jazz was noted by front-page announcements of his death in newspapers all over the world. Along with millions of others, I was a devoted Dave Brubeck fan ever since I first heard his music in the 1950s.
Brubeck changed jazz by producing his â€ścoolâ€ť sound in collaboration with alto saxophonist Paul Desmond, who played counterpoint to Brubeckâ€™s piano. Their innovative use of unusual rhythms captured the imagination of a generation of college students in the â€™50s and â€™60s. His 33 rpm record Time Out became the first jazz album to sell more than a million copies. After a tour of India and the Middle East, Brubeck began to experiment with rhythmic structures. In his signature piece, â€śTake Five,â€ť perhaps the most popular jazz single ever, five-beat measures alternate with four-beat measures. He also composed a lively Christmas piece, â€śGodâ€™s Love Made Visible,â€ť in 5/4 time.