ADDED: I changed the link to a much better obituary (at BBC), which says that "Take Five" is the best-selling jazz single of all time. He composed many jazz pieces, but "Take Five" wasn't one of them. Also, his mother was a piano-player and she tutored him when he was a child, living on the family's cattle ranch. In 2007, he said:
"When you start out with goals - mine were to play polytonally and polyrhythmically - you never exhaust that... I started doing that in the 1940s. It's still a challenge to discover what can be done with just those two elements."