Jazz great Dave Brubeck dead at 91

Dave Brubeck sits next to a piano in Monterey, California, in this 2007 file photo. REUTERS/Kimberly White/Files
Dave Brubeck sits next to a piano in Monterey, California, in this 2007 file photo. REUTERS/Kimberly White/Files
Jazz pianist Dave Brubeck, whose choice of novel rhythms, classical structures and brilliant sidemen made him a towering figure in modern jazz, has died at the age of 91, his longtime manager and producer Russell Gloyd says.

Brubeck died of heart failure on his way to a regular medical exam at Norwalk Hospital, in Norwalk, Conn., said Gloyd.

His Dave Brubeck Quartet put out one of the biggest selling jazz songs of all time: "Take Five," composed by alto saxophonist Paul Desmond. Like many of the group's works, it had an unusual beat -- 5/4 time as opposed to the usual 4/4.

"We play it differently every time we play it," Brubeck told The Philadelphia Inquirer in 2005. "So I never get tired of playing it. That's the beauty of jazz."

"Take Five" was the first million-selling jazz single.

Brubeck injected classical counterpoint, atonal harmonies and modern dissonance into his music, hinting at composers such as Debussy, Bartok, Stravinsky and Bach.