The Dave Brubeck Quartet album “Time Out” was on its way to making jazz history, rising to No. 2 on the Billboard pop charts in 1961, the year Brubeck agreed to buy a tract of unbuilt land cut by a winding pond in Wilton, Connecticut.
The pianist and composer, whose album would be the first in jazz history to sell 1 million copies, hired architect Beverley David Thorne to design an airy home integrated into the wooded 7.5-acre homesite that’s remained in family hands till this day, property records show. Brubeck’s compound, about 90 minutes north of New York City, is now selling for the first time ever, asking $2.75 million.
The Mid-Century Modern pile, whose wood, glass and stone construction syncs with its rocky, leafy surroundings, was the second Thorne designed for Brubeck and his wife and collaborator, Iola. The architect is best known for the first steel-frame Modern house he built for the Brubecks in Oakland, California, in the 1950s, though they sold that West Coast property decades ago, property records indicate.
Instead, they kept the Connecticut estate as a home base until their deaths. Brubeck died in 2012 at the age of 91, followed by Iola two years later at the age of 90.
The seven-bedroom house spans 6,250 square feet with floor-to-ceiling glass windows and interior walls built from natural stone, according to the listing with Monica Webster , of Douglas Elliman, who listed the home on Friday. The effect is little visual distinction between the outdoors and the indoors.
“It is very serene because of the fabulous foliage, sounds of water, tremendous acreage and stone. Interestingly enough, all levels are on ground level with full walkout ability,” Ms. Webster said. That’s due to the way the house was built along the sloping property, she said.
From the dramatic double-height living room, a sculptural staircase also built from natural stone snakes up to an open second floor, which overlooks a wood-paneled music room with not one but four pianos, images of the home show.
The open second level leads into the formal dining room, where shoji screen doors open onto a wraparound porch with treetop views.
Brubeck was deeply influenced during his band’s tour in Japan in 1964, so much so they recorded the album “Jazz Impressions of Japan” within months of their return.
He also brought that influence into his Connecticut home, which still features numerous nods to Japanese architectural traditions, including lantern-like lights and furniture by Japanese-American woodworker George Nakashima , according to the listing agency.
Outside, Japanese gardens incorporate multiple fountains and a number of red-painted foot bridges. The gardens even open from a “moon gate,” or traditional circular passageway thought to bring serenity. More lavish perks include an indoor pool and heated spa, according to the listing.
The pandemic has shifted the market in Connecticut considerably, Ms. Webster said. The former Brubeck residence might have sold as a weekend home for a New York City family before the health crisis.
“Now, we imagine it could be a new primary home for someone,” she said. “We’re seeing buyers request more space and not one, but two offices. This home checks the box for a lot of those buyers.”