Dave Brubeck, Jazz Icon, Dies at 91

Dave Brubeck

Mickey Adair/Getty

updated 12/05/2012 AT 1:20 PM ET

originally published 12/05/2012 AT 1:30 PM ET

Dave Brubeck, the pianist, composer and leader of the iconic Dave Brubeck Quartet, died Wednesday at age 91 in Connecticut, according to the AP. The cause was heart failure.

Brubeck, whose music helped define the style of West Coast Jazz in the ’50s, is best known for the 1959 classic “Take 5,” which was written by collaborator Paul Desmond and featured on the album Time Out. To date, it remains one of the top-selling jazz records of all time.

Brubeck wasn’t just a music icon – he was also a patriot. Born in California in 1920, he was drafted into the army to serve in Europe during World War II. Upon returning home in 1946, music teacher Darius Milhaud encouraged him to pursue music.

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