217

A Bob Brookmeyer Bonanza

Elliott Simon By

Sign in to view read count
Turning 75 this year, valve trombonist Bob Brookmeyer brought his New Art Orchestra to town last month at the IAJE and a “Battle of the Bands” at the Village Vanguard. He endures as a master of the “cool” and continues to produce musical permutations resulting in elaborate and complex compositions that are clear and pure: music, that is, well, “cool”. Island is co-led with a musician who is as respected as Brookmeyer, 74-year-old flugelhorn/trumpet player Kenny Wheeler. In addition to the audio CD, Island includes a DVD where the upfront Brookmeyer and the more reserved Wheeler are revealed. A mini-course in their distinct improvisational and compositional approaches, the DVD has mp3, Dolby digital surround and sonically superb 96 bit versions of each of the seven tracks. A video documentary features in depth interviews. While listening, solo transcriptions can crawl across the screen or be printed as lead sheets.


Bob Brookmeyer/Kenny Wheeler

Island

Artists House

On both Island and Stay Out of the Sun, trios of younger musicians provide support that allow the veterans to display the beautiful subtleties and coloration of their instrumental lines while propelling them into new territory. Island features pianist Frank Carlberg who brings his classical precision to tunes like Wheeler’s “114” and “Where Do We Go From Here” yet uses his avant bearing to color Brookmeyer’s quirky “Upstairs With Beatrice”. “Strange One”, is that, thanks in major part to Jeremy Allen’s engaging bass bow and drummer John Hollenbeck’s individualistic percussive effects.

Track Listing
1. Before the First Time, 2. 114, 3. Where Do We Go from Here?, 4. Song for Kenny, 5. Upstairs With Beatrice, 6. Island, 7. Strange One

Personnel
Bob Brookmeyer - Trombone (Valve), Kenny Wheeler - Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Frank Carlberg - Piano, John Hollenbeck - Drums, Jeremy Allen - Bass


Bob Brookmeyer

Stay out of the Sun

Challenge

While Island is chiefly a cool groove, Stay Out of the Sun can also swing. A newer version of Brookmeyer’s 1986 quartet (Oslo, Concord) it again features drummer, Michael Stephans. Brookmeyer leads with a rounded tone that is without peer but guitarist Larry Koonse is also front and center. Things start off swinging with Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “If I Loved You” as Koonse comps behind Brookmeyer before showing off a classic fat sound. “Wistful Thinking”, penned by the late bassist and former quartet member, Eric Von Essen, has Tom Warrington venerating on his bass as the t-bone plaintively remembers. Brookmeyer switches to piano on the Koonse-penned tango “Longing” but impresses most on his original numbers. These include the breezy “Stay Out of the Sun”, a smooth tribute to a special lady named “Kathleen”, the cleverly time shifting “Turtle” and the wonderfully understated guitar/ trombone meld, “Janet Planet”. The Miles Davis/Bill Evans classic, “Blue in Green”, reworked with a skillfully subtle flamenco guitar backing, closes out the session as Brookmeyer’s tonal variations warmly guide his quartet deep into the “cool”.

Track Listing
1. If I Loved You, 2. Wistful Thinking, 3. Stay Out of the Sun, 4. Longing, 5. Kathleen, 6. Turtle, 7. Janet Planet, 8. Bruise, 9. Blue in Green

Personnel
Bob Brookmeyer - Piano, Trombone (Valve), Larry Koonse - Guitar, Michael Stephans - Drums, Tom Warrington - Bass

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Live Reviews
Big Band Report
Extended Analysis
Album Reviews
Multiple Reviews
Album Reviews
Read more articles
 

The Trombones Inc.

Atlantic Jazz
2012

buy
 

Standards

Atlantic Jazz
2011

buy
Spirit Music

Spirit Music

ArtistShare
2006

buy
Island

Island

Artists House
2004

buy
Mosaic Select 9: Bob Brookmeyer

Mosaic Select 9: Bob...

Mosaic Records
2004

buy

Related Articles

Read Peter Lewis And Peter Perrett: Sleeper LP's of 2019 Multiple Reviews
Peter Lewis And Peter Perrett: Sleeper LP's of 2019
By Doug Collette
July 20, 2019
Read Dan Phillips He's Back And He's Proud Multiple Reviews
Dan Phillips He's Back And He's Proud
By Mark Corroto
July 18, 2019
Read 3x3: Piano Trios: July 2019 Multiple Reviews
3x3: Piano Trios: July 2019
By Geno Thackara
July 16, 2019
Read Two From The Giant Step Arts Label Multiple Reviews
Two From The Giant Step Arts Label
By Jerome Wilson
July 15, 2019
Read Living for a Song: Country Singers and Songwriters on BGO Multiple Reviews
Living for a Song: Country Singers and Songwriters on BGO
By Jakob Baekgaard
July 14, 2019
Read International Anthem: The Beat of the Past, Present and Future Multiple Reviews
International Anthem: The Beat of the Past, Present and Future
By Jakob Baekgaard
July 4, 2019
Read Samo Salamon: Three At Once (Freequestra, Trio, & Rotten Girlz) Multiple Reviews
Samo Salamon: Three At Once (Freequestra, Trio, & Rotten Girlz)
By Mark Sullivan
July 3, 2019