The news of Dave Brubeck's death, even at the grand old age of 91, shocked the music community, such was the proportion in which he affected jazz and the musicians that surrounded it.
"I'm Sad. Losing David Brubeck is losing one of the all time greats in jazz, not only as a pianist, but as a composer, but most of all, as a world class human being," said Jazz legend Ramsey Lewis on the phone to The Chicago Tribune. "And of course, Brubeck was one of the few musicians who could improvise and swing in unusual time signatures; he started that, and many of us tried it, not many of us were as successful as Dave Brubeck. Dave had a sense of humour, Dave could talk about whatever you had on your mind."
Emerging as a symbol of jazz in America in the 1950's, Brubeck would go on to sell more than a million copies of "Take Five" in 1960.
"Dave Brubeck was one of the giants in the music - he changed the way people listened to the music," said David Baker, distinguished professor of music at Indiana University and a friend of the Brubeck family. "He could swing in any time signature - it seemed like forward motion was born in his blood," said pianist Ramsey Lewis, who played four-hand piano with Brubeck at the Ravinia Festival in Highland Park in 2010.