Joe Morello, a jazz drummer whose elegant, economical playing in the Dave Brubeck Quartet sounded natural and effortless even in unusual time signatures, died on Saturday at his home in Irvington, N.J. He was 82.
His death was announced on his Web site, joemorello.net. No cause was given.
Mr. Morello was most famous for his tenure in Mr. Brubeck's band, in which he was engaged initially for a brief tour in 1955. He became a member in late 1956, and remained until the group disbanded at the end of 1967.
Already popular for its work on college campuses during the 1950s, Mr. Brubeck's group reached new heights with Mr. Morello, who handled with disarming ease the odd meters that Mr. Brubeck began to favor. In June 1959, Mr. Morello participated in a recording session with the quartetcompleted by the alto saxophonist Paul Desmond and the bassist Eugene Wrightthat yielded Kathy's Waltz" and Three to Get Ready," both of which intermingled 3/4 and 4/4 time signatures.