Legendary jazz pianist and composer Dave Brubeck, who wrote immortal songs such as "Take Five" and "Blue Rondo a la Turk," died Wednesday morning of heart failure at Norwalk Hospital, one day before his 92nd birthday. He was 91.

Born Dec. 6, 1920, Brubeck grew up in California; AllMusic writes that he developed a following by playing unusual time signatures with "adventurous tonalities." Brubeck, who has released more than 50 albums, became the first modern jazz musician (and second jazz musician ever) to be pictured on the cover of Time magazine in 1954. His quartet's 1959 album Time Out was the first ever million-selling jazz album. That album included "Take Five," which is in 5/4 time and has become one of the landmark jazz songs of the last century.

Then-US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who grew up listening to Brubeck as a child, presented him with a "Benjamin Franklin Award for Public Diplomacy" in 2008 for offering an American "vision of hope, opportunity and freedom" through his music; Brubeck was also a Kennedy Center Honoree in 2009.

NPR notes that teachers at Mills College noticed his talent and encouraged him to pursue music fulltime. The dean at the college threatened not to let him graduate though because he couldn't read music, but his teachers stepped up for him: "So they convinced the dean to let me graduate. And the dean said, 'You can graduate if you promise never to teach and embarrass the conservatory.' And that's the way I've gotten through life, is having to substitute other things for not being able to read well. But I can write, which is something very few people understand."