David Warren Brubeck (/ˈbruːbɛk/; December 6, 1920 – December 5, 2012) was an American jazz pianist and composer, considered one of the foremost exponents of cool jazz. Many of his compositions have become jazz standards including “In Your Own Sweet Way” and “The Duke”. Brubeck’s style ranged from refined to bombastic, reflecting both his mother’s classical training and his own improvisational skills. His music is known for employing unusual time signatures as well as superimposing contrasting rhythms, meters, and tonalities.
Brubeck experimented with time signatures throughout his career, recording “Pick Up Sticks” in 6
4, “Unsquare Dance” in 7
4, “World’s Fair” in 13
4, and “Blue Rondo à la Turk” in 9
8. He was also a composer of orchestral and sacred music and wrote soundtracks for television, such as Mr. Broadway and the animated miniseries This Is America, Charlie Brown.
Often incorrectly attributed to Brubeck, the song “Take Five“, which has become a jazz standard, was composed by Brubeck’s long-time musical partner, alto saxophonist Paul Desmond. Appearing on one of the top-selling jazz albums, Time Out, and written in 5
4 time, “Take Five” has endured as a jazz classic associated with Brubeck.