died on the eve of his 92nd birthday., who brought West Coast cool jazz to America, has
Jazz had been mostly black before Brubeck and others introduced the cool sound of “Take Five” and “Blue Rondo a la Turk.” It also had been mostly an East Coast and Southern phenomenon.
His music was part of a generation that included Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsburg, also cool, or perhaps better described as "beat." On TV it was Maynard Krebs, and eventually led to James Dean and "Rebel Without A Cause."
Brubeck had grown up on a California ranch, and his mother, a pianist, taught him how to play. It meant than when he went to serve in World War II he was assigned to play for troops.
After the war he went to college, and almost turned to classical music, but was heavily influenced in jazz by European tastes.
His sound blossomed in San Francisco, and he exchanged improvisations with like minds from Los Angeles. Rhythm was always the key.
He was the first white jazz artist to make the cover of Time magazine http://www.time.com/time/covers/0,16641,
Although he had his own sound, he played in black jazz clubs. His performing career was extended when smoking was banned. He had avoided clubs because he could not stand the smoke.
He died Tuesday in Norwalk, Conn., where he lived.