Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

8

Boston Celebration: The Legacy of Bob Brookmeyer

Doug Hall By

Sign in to view read count
Bob Brookmeyer: A Celebration
Jordan Hall
Boston, MA
March 1, 2018

The on-going celebration of New England Conservatory's 150th anniversary brought well deserved attention to the Jazz Studies and Contemporary Improvisation departments for the 2017-2018 performance season. On March 1st, at Jordan Hall, NEC presented a very special tribute celebration to the legacy of Bob Brookmeyer, the legendary jazz musician (valve trombonist, pianist) composer, arranger, conductor, teacher, performer and mentor to many jazz musicians, particularly at NEC. The evening provided a rare opportunity to listen to 4 original orchestral works by former NEC students, including a 150th Anniversary commission by Doris Duke Artist Darcy James Argue (02' M.M.). Argue was a Doris Duke Artist Award recipient in 2015. Ken Schaphorst, conductor of the NEC Jazz Orchestra, directed a concert performance of Brookmeyer's music, coupled with extraordinary contributions of original orchestral works by four NEC alumni.

A fitting tribute to Brookmeyer's dedication and contribution to NEC as a teacher for ten years between 1997 and 2007, founding and directing the Jazz Composers Workshop Orchestra, thereby adding a vital component allowing "an on-going ensemble devoted to rehearsing and performing works by NEC Jazz Composition students." Thanks to the musical drive, gift of mentoring, foresight and leadership, J.C.W.O.(founded and directed by Brookmeyer) provides an orchestra(now led by Frank Carlberg) that gives young composers "the opportunity to learn how to rehearse and conduct a band, as well as have their works heard." In 2008, Brookmeyer was awarded an honorary doctorate from NEC in recognition of his distinguished musical career and his invaluable contributions to NEC. He was also named a National Endowments for the Arts Jazz Master in 2006.

This extraordinary evening offered performances of four new orchestral jazz compositions by NEC alumni Nicholas Urie, The Ayn Inserto Jazz Orchestra, Mehmet Ali Sanlikol, and the 150th Anniversary commission by Doris Duke Artist, Darcy James Argue Under the sure-handed conducting guidance of Ken Schaphorst, Brookmeyer's close friend and long-time colleague, the transition from piece to piece was seamless and mesmerizing. Schaphorst also started the evening with his own composition, "Take Back the Country," an incredibly rich, tempo changing selection that also resonated Brookmeyer's political tones, as a statement of current division in our country.

Each of the four original compositions were conducted by NEC alumni, some of whom were directly mentored and supported in their professional development by Bob Brookmeyer. Speaking to the audience that night, each composer gave sincere credit to Brookmeyer for having been a direct inspiration and motivator for them, pushing their boundaries and keeping their passion on track. The fruition of accomplishment was clearly heard by the audience in NEC's Jordan Hall this evening. Here, clearly, was an example of how one passionate teacher can harness the skill and talent of students and guide them through an evolution to these superb individual compositional statements. An enthusiastic audience was quick to respond to the technical level and innovative arrangements by these young conductors. Also hats-off to an outstanding and spirited NEC Jazz Orchestra, who apparently had very little lead time to learn these compositions. There were also several stand-out soloists, on saxophone, trumpet, and trombone, who took turns in melodious and dexterous interpretations of each piece.

Tags

Watch

comments powered by Disqus

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

Shop

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

Related Articles

Live Reviews
Kevin Bales With Chuck Redd At The Jazz Corner
By Martin McFie
January 21, 2019
Live Reviews
Darrell Grant Black Art @ 25 Quartet at Birdland Theater
By Mike Jurkovic
January 18, 2019
Live Reviews
Odean Pope Quartet at the Philadelphia Museum of Art
By Victor L. Schermer
January 15, 2019
Live Reviews
Denise Donatelli at Mezzrow
By Nicholas F. Mondello
January 10, 2019
Live Reviews
The Los Cabos Jazz Experience 2018
By Wendy Ross
January 5, 2019