R.I.P. the legendary jazz musician Dave Brubeck, who died today. He was best known for the 1959 album ‘Time Out’, the first jazz album to sell a million copies, and ‘Take Five’, the biggest-selling jazz single of all time.
After studying with French composer Darius Milhaud in the 1940s Brubeck formed a number of jazz groups before settling with a quartet in the 1950s which included alto saxophonist Paul Desmond, bassist Gene Wright and drummer Joe Morello. In 1958 they toured India and the Middle East as part of an American State Department ‘good will’ program during the cold war. It was on this tour that they came across music that used different time signatures to the standard 4/4 time. Music written as a result of the tour featured on the 1959 album ‘Time Out’, including ‘Take Five’ written by Paul Desmond in 5/4 time and ‘Blue Rondo a la Turk’ written by Brubeck in 9/8.